2013 Dallas International Film Festival–Sat

Saturday was a big day at the Dallas International Film Festival.  The Magnolia Theater is another location for most of the film festival.  With the success of Uptown, the theater has become a nightmare for parking and people.  After a twenty minute struggle to find a spot for my auto, I finally gave up on the parking garage and placed my four-wheeled beast a few blocks away. 

I made it into the line just as everyone was being seated for A Teacher.  The film is a part of the Narrative Feature competition.  Set in Austin, the story was of an English teacher who has an affair with her teen student.  It is raw and gritty examination of how professional standards and personal wants intersect in a very bad idea.

I found the film slow, tedious and more than a bit offsetting.  While the film was being projected, I kept thinking that Austin is one of the youngest cities in the nation with a median age of 28.   This teacher can’t find anyone else to go out with?  The city is crawling with young adults and she has to ‘hook-up’ with a kid. It was unbelievable and wrong on so many levels.

But the performance of Lindsay Burdge was as interesting as it was offsetting.  Her downward spiral is sad and pathetic but somehow fascinating to watch.  She shows the depth of loneliness and how far someone will go to find a human connection.  Director Hannah Fidell is meticulous in her examination of a psyche. 

After a little break at the hospitality suite to wash the last film out of my brain, I decided to take-in Bounty Killers.  All I knew about the film is the title.  Mark Walters of BigFanBoy.com introduced the film.  He brought up the director and let the audience know that some of the cast and crew were in the audience. 

Bounty Killers is set in a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where the United States has become a wasteland and bounty killers are hired by the nine to hunt down white collar criminals and exterminate them. 

The story concerns Drifter (Jason Dodson) and Mary Death (Christian Pitre) two of the most successful bounty hunters on the planet.   They have a love-hate relationship that becomes challenged when Drifter is named as a CEO on the death list with one of the highest bounty offered.  Drifter has to travel across the badlands to meet with the council and get the death warrant suspended.  Along the way, he must battle against Mary Death and a horde of bestial creatures as well as corporate interests who have a monetary investment in a new world order future.

It is based on a graphic novel and it revels in its Road Warrior style of the future.  It carries its fan-boy credentials on its sleeve while running rough-shot across the desert terrain.   To put this simply, Bounty Killers one of the coolest, hippest little flicks to come along all year and one of my favorites of 2013.  Much like Tucker and Dale VS Evil and The Bill Hicks documentary that played at DIFF in years past, I can easily see this work end up on my Top Ten List of 2013.  It is the reason we go to the movies, to be blown away.

After the screening, the director and Mark Walters discussed the film, how it was made and any future screenings.  The makers plan to have the film released in limited markets by summer.  It is definitely the kind of flick that would do well in the hot dog days.  

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