The USA Film Festival launches into its 39th year with a trio of programs tonight at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas. (For a full rundown of the fest, check this earlier post.) Each film starts at 7 p.m., so you’re going to have to be choosy. Your options are:
Battle for Terra – Luke Wilson represents the 214 in this animated story that also features the voices of Evan Rachel Wood, Danny Glover, Dennis Quaid, Brian Cox and James Garner. The plot centers on some folks from another world who descend on the idyllic planet Terra and threaten to pillage its resources. If you miss it tonight, it’s opening wide on Friday.
The Yellow Handkerchief – William Hurt leads a strong cast that also features current It girl Kristen Stewart. Hurt’s an ex-con who’s heading back to New Orleans to see if his wife (Maria Bello) still wants him around.
Phantom of the Paradise – If you haven’t figured out how to be in two places at one time, then I would suggest making this the place to be tonight. USA is digging Phantom of the Paradise out of the mothballs 35 years after it debuted as part of the fest’s Paul Williams tribute. Williams not only starred in Phantom, but he also wrote the score, which was nominated for an Oscar (it lost to The Great Gatsby, but Williams would hear his name called two years later for writing the theme for A Star is Born). Williams will be in the house tonight, and the feature will be preceeded by a clip show of some of Williams’ work. Some of Paradise was shot in Dallas, so keep your eye out for some local landmarks if you go.