My Friday Dallas International Film Festival picks include:
Carried Away – Fort Worth filmmaker Tom Huckabee tells a story partly based in his own experience of returning home to visit his family and finding it in a shambles. In the film, Ed is particularly troubled that his family has put his grandmother in a nursing home. He breaks her out and heads back to Los Angeles with her in the passenger’s seat, with his family hot on their trail. Fort Worth Weekly wrote about the making of the film in this October cover story. Huckaby will be one of three local filmmakers featured on Wednesday’s episode of Think. (4 p.m., Angelika)
The Dry Land – Last year, The Hurt Locker screened during the festival and went on to Oscar gold. This year, The Dry Land fills the Iraq War movie spot. In it, a veteran (Ryan O’Nan) comes home to El Paso unable to cope with his emotional battle scars. Once there, he meets another veteran (Wilmer Valderrama) who’s also struggling to adapt and together they search for a return to normalcy. (7:30 p.m., Magnolia)
Skateland – Set in 1983 in an East Texas town, a group of young adults treads water while figuring out what they want to do with their lives. The film was made by Anthony Burns, who went to high school in Longview, and was shot in Shreveport. And it was definitely the main attraction opening night, with lots of cast and crew in attendance. Period pieces set in the recent past can be tricky, because you’ve got to get the details exactly right. Skateland is spot on with most of them, including an impressive soundtrack. It didn’t make me forget Dazed and Confused, but it’s a fun reminder of the not-too-distant past with a sweet story at its center. Read more from Burns in this Quick Q&A. (7 p.m., Angelika)
There’s also a “secret screening” planned for 10:30 p.m. at the Magnolia. If I catch word of what that is, I’ll update this post.
UPDATE: Ran into Robert Wilonsky this morning, who let me know that he has the goods on the secret screening tonight. Turns out it’s a doc about the Austin music scene.