East Coast Represent

The greatest thing about coming back home was seeing my beautiful lady waiting at the baggage claim for me. If I could have ran I would have but there was a ridiculous crowd of people swarming around between her and I. So she waited patiently as I made my way through the crowd inching closer to her, smiling at each other all the while. I'm not even sure I was walking, I think I might have been floating towards her. It was an excruciating 75 seconds or so before we finally met and embraced. That moment and that feeling right there is inexplicable. With Amy it doesn't matter where we are. Home is with her.

Now on to the recap:

I landed in Philly with Texas tree pollen still dangling from my shoelaces. This physicality matched my attitude. Like it or not, I'm a little piece of Texas. Surprisingly, this worked to my advantage. It seems that people are generally pretty intrigued by Texas. Particularly on the East Coast. Everywhere the four of us Deadroom directors went during the festival we were greeted as the "Texas Contingent." This is funny because obviously none of us represent anything about the typical Texas stereotypes. I think they were just surprised that we can survive and prosper in this buckle of the bible belt.

As usual, film festivals are as much about the people you meet as they are about the films. We met some cool folks and were treated with great respect and honor by the wonderful guest services of the festival. Susan Dietrich and Andy Preis were particularly attentive and helpful throughout our visit. Like I mentioned we got to meet Malcolm McDowell and have a decent conversation with Steve Buscemi. It was great to run into Lily Bright again, who is the Executive Producer of The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. We ran into her at SXSW and she knew Deadroom because we've played alongside her film in Cleveland, SXSW, and now Philly. It was also great to run into Josh Sternfeld. We actually got to have an extended conversation during the McDowell party. I wish him much luck on Winter Solstice, his directing debut. I was trying really hard to make the Solstice screening at the fest but didn't wake up in time. I guess that's for the better because now I can watch it in theaters and it will add to his box office numbers. We also got to spend some time with fellow Texan, Kelly Williams of the Austin Film Festival. He was a really cool guy and hung out with me and the fellas for my pre-screening birthday celebration at this really cool bar (the name escapes me.) All I know was they played great music and the nightly special was a can of PBR and a shot of whiskey for $3. Anyway, Kelly and I got to have a long discussion about the world of film in Austin and all the great projects he gets to see via the festival. He actually came up to Nick first because he saw the Deadroom credentials Nick was wearing around his neck. He got to see a screener of the film and really liked it a lot. We briefly hung out with David Walker who directed the doc Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered and Shafted about 1970's blaxploitation cinema. Which I didn't get to see but am very much looking forward to. Probably one of the coolest moments was talking to Miranda July who was incredible humble and seemed so surprised about the great response she's been getting. She was telling me that she's really worried that no one will come see it when it's released in theaters. All I have to say is that if people don't see this film they're goddamn idiots.

The films I watched were:

Me and You and Everyone We Know
The Far Side of the Moon
Off Beat
Lonesome Jim
Music From the Inside Out

Of course, as I've mentioned "Me and You..." was by far my favorite at the fest and will probably be the best thing I see all year. Although Miike's psychotic romp through time with a character hellbent on killing god was quite enjoyable in a whole different way. Unfortunately there were tons of films I wanted to see but couldn't.

As I mentioned, New York was great. I mean how could it not be. However, I'm pretty sure that I could do just fine never living in NYC. I'd definitely love to live on the east coast, I'm just not sure NYC is the place to be. Of course, I won't know until I live there so I'll probably still give it a try. I found East Village to be terribly charming. With MooShoes, and great vegetarian restaurants like Kate's Joint, it seems pretty ideal. Another great restaurant highlight (not in East Village) was Candle 79. We got to meet the owner and chef and they gave some great free appetizers. It was absolutely delicious. Can't wait to go back. The Philly restaurant highlight was definitely Gianna's Grill. While I'm perplexed that they aren't fully vegan it was delicious none-the-less. The vegan Pizza, Philly Cheez Steak, and Cheez Fries was amazing along with their homemade vegan desserts. I ate a lot.

The center piece of NYC was the dinner party. Once again, much thanks to Jessica and Geoffroy for hosting us. They were wonderful to us. Also, thanks to Yen for cooking all day to prepare wonderful food for the party. So, lots of cool people showed up and we had lots of great conversations mainly centering around wine and film although politics crept in a few times. See Yen's blog for the list of wonderful guest and more details, also see David's for other details.

Man this is getting really long and I'm tired of typing it. I've been working on it for the last two days because I keep getting sidetracked. Plus I'm stressing out 'cos I need to prep Vacilador for the Sundance Labs and Yen has a new draft of Ciao I need to read and give feedback plus I have a million emails I need to write and/or respond to. Anyway, deep breath...I really want to make note of all this so I can look back on it in a few years.

So, the screenings: Yen was a little inaccurate in his assessment of the crowd. There were more like 30 people at the first screening. The coolest thing was that every single person stayed after for the Q&A. That's an accomplishment in my book. Second screening didn't have the same retention rate but a lot of people talked to us in the lobby after the screening for about an hour. One guy came to see the film twice. Mad props to Ti West and Graham Reznick who came out from Delaware to represent. We met these guys at SXSW where Ti's awesome film The Roost premiered.

So, yes the trip was great. And now I'm finally going to end this horribly long entry with this great link (thanks to David): http://ifuckedanncoulterintheasshard.blogspot.com/

PS. You have to check out Clayfield's great thoughts on the democratization of film over at Esoteric Rabbit.


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