Doc’s Picks for The 2012 Dallas International Film Festival

Doc’s Notes

My Hot Picks for the Dallas International Film Festival 2012

There are some many amazing films coming to the festival this year.  It is a tough deal to pick only a few.  I am going to say first that ANY of the high school and college shorts showings are ALWAYS on my “must see” list.  They are the future of the business, tomorrow’s amazing filmmakers.

This year the screenings are:

14-Apr

SAT

7:30 PM

North Texas High School Showcase

NorthPark 5

120 min

16-Apr

MON

7:30 PM

Booker T. Washington Showcase

Angelika 8

68 min

17-Apr

TUE

10:00 PM

North Texas College Showcase

Magnolia 4

121 min

Next are the films in the Texas Competition.  These are all Texas-made films.  This year’s crop is especially good.  My picks:

14-Apr

SAT

1:45 PM

America's Parking Lot

Angelika 6

73 min

Texas Competition

16-Apr

MON

5:00 PM

America's Parking Lot

Angelika 7

73 min

Texas Competition

13-Apr

FRI

4:30 PM

Cinema Six

Magnolia 5

79 min

Texas Competition

14-Apr

SAT

2:15 PM

Cinema Six

Magnolia 4

79 min

Texas Competition

17-Apr

TUE

7:00 PM

Sironia

Angelika 6

104 min

Texas Competition

19-Apr

THU

4:00 PM

Sironia

Angelika 8

104 min

Texas Competition

14-Apr

SAT

12:30 PM

WOLF

Magnolia 5

90 min

Texas Competition

18-Apr

WED

10:15 PM

WOLF

Angelika 7

90 min

Texas Competition

AMERICA’S PARKING LOT is about the dedicated tailgater’s at the Dallas Cowboys games.  The story of CINEMA SIX centers on a group of young adults who work at a small town movie theater.  It has some slow parts in the beginning but the last fifteen minutes totally redeem the film for me!  SIRONIA is the story of a singer/songwriter who moves to Texas when his music career falls apart.  Will he rebuild his career or destroy his life trying?  WOLF tells about one of the most difficult problems that a family can experience, a pastor molesting their son.  Unlike most other stories of its kind, this story is centered on the black community and their churches.

DIFF has a reputation for bring us amazing Premieres.  This year is no exception.  I will not even try to trim down this list.  They are all “must see”.

Here are this year’s premiere screenings:

14-Apr

SAT

8:00 PM

Bringing Up Bobby

Magnolia 5

95 min

15-Apr

SUN

10:15 PM

Bringing Up Bobby

Angelika 7

95 min

15-Apr

SUN

5:30 PM

Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope

Magnolia 5

88 min

19-Apr

THU

10:00 PM

Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope

Magnolia 4

88 min

18-Apr

WED

10:15 PM

Compliance

Magnolia 5

90 min

19-Apr

THU

9:30 PM

Compliance

Angelika 8

90 min

22-Apr

SUN

3:00 PM

Darling Companion

Angelika 6

103 min

17-Apr

TUE

4:15 PM

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Angelika 7

86 min

18-Apr

WED

7:00 PM

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Angelika 6

86 min

20-Apr

FRI

9:30 PM

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker

Texas Theatre

 

22-Apr

SUN

12:30 PM

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker

Angelika 7

 

13-Apr

FRI

7:00 PM

Liberal Arts

Magnolia 4

97 min

20-Apr

FRI

7:00 PM

Liberal Arts

Angelika 6

97 min

13-Apr

FRI

7:30 PM

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

Magnolia 5

97 min

14-Apr

SAT

4:15 PM

The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

Magnolia 4

97 min

Next up is the Narrative Feature Competition, a juried competition featuring the best of international cinema.  They all look interesting but the one I am most looking forward to seeing is:

18-Apr

WED

4:15 PM

Teddy Bear

Angelika 7

92 min

19-Apr

THU

7:00 PM

Teddy Bear

Angelika 8

92 min

TEDDY BEAR is the story of a mountain of a man, a body builder, who is magnificently strong but unable to meet women.

The Family Friendly group of films are wonderful films, one and all.

14-Apr

SAT

5:00 PM

Cowgirls N Angels

NorthPark 5

92 min

15-Apr

SUN

2:15 PM

Cowgirls N Angels

Angelika 6

92 min

14-Apr

SAT

2:30 PM

First Position

NorthPark 5

90 min

15-Apr

SUN

8:30 PM

First Position

Angelika 8

90 min

14-Apr

SAT

12:00 PM

Oblivion Island

NorthPark 5

100 min

22-Apr

SUN

12:30 PM

Oblivion Island

Angelika 8

100 min

14-Apr

SAT

8:00 PM

E.T. The Extraterrestrial

NorthPark CenterPark

120 min

I plan to see all of them but the one I am especially looking forward to is COWGIRLS N ANGELS.  The cast is excellent, including James Cromwell, Alicia Witt, Frankie Faison, and Dallas-own Drew Waters.

The films of the Deep Ellum Sounds grouping are visual documents of popular music genius, in the spirit of Dallas' legendary entertainment district.  The four films look amazing.  The film I am most looking forward to seeing is:

13-Apr

FRI

9:45 PM

Queens of Country

Angelika 8

93 min

22-Apr

SUN

7:00 PM

Queens of Country

Texas Theatre

93 min

Excerpt from the film description on the DIFF website: “Attractive and sensitive desert debutante Jolene lives in a fantasy, emulating a long-past time of relative innocence.”  This film stars Lizzy Caplan and Ron Livingston.

In the Documentary Feature Competition one film stands out to me.  It is the story of politics on the small Pacific island of Tinian where the Enola Gay launched for its mission to bomb Hiroshima.

18-Apr

WED

7:30 PM

Biba! One Island, 879 Votes

Angelika 8

72 min

18-Apr

THU

5:00 PM

Biba! One Island, 879 Votes

Angelika 6

72 min

If you love horror films there are three of those in this year’s lineup, sponsored by Texas Frightmare Weekend.  One is Japanese (TORMENTED), one is Spanish (JUAN OF THE DEAD), and the third is American (THE PACT).

13-Apr

FRI

11:59 PM

Tormented

Magnolia 4

83 min

14-Apr

SAT

10:30 PM

Tormented

Magnolia 5

83 min

13-Apr

FRI

11:59 PM

The Pact

Angelika 7

91 min

14-Apr

SAT

10:00 PM

The Pact

Angelika 6

91 min

14-Apr

FRI

11:59 PM

Juan of the Dead

Magnolia 4

96 min

15-Apr

SAT

10:00 PM

Juan of the Dead

Magnolia 4

96 min

The Special Presentations group of films are interesting, including screenings of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, ALADDIN (20th Anniversary Screening), and the one I am most looking forward to ROBOCOP (a special 25th anniversary screening at the Texas Theatre).

The two I most want to see are:

 

15-Apr

SUN

9:30 PM

QWERTY

Angelika 6

90 min

17-Apr

TUE

1:30 PM

QWERTY

Angelika 7

90 min

21-Apr

SAT

7:30 PM

Robocop

Texas Theatre

102 min

There are three categories of films that everyone should look into.  The South Korean Spotlight has four films including world premieres with the filmmakers in attendance.  The Latino Showcase contains five films in Spanish from the USA, Brazil, and Portugal.  The World Cinema category has ten films from Palestine, Greece, Russia, Spain, Japan, France, Israel, Italy, Austria, and Lebanon.

The Galas and Centerpiece Screenings are films shown which have after parties following their first screening.  Most of the first screenings are already almost sold out.  This year they come from Lithuania (THE OTHER DREAM TEAM), South Korea (MY WAY), and the USA (HELLO I MUST BE GOING).

14-Apr

WED

7:00 PM

Hello I Must Be Going

Angelika 6

95 min

17-Apr

TUE

7:30 PM

My Way

Magnolia 5

137 min

18-Apr

WED

3:30 PM

My Way

Magnolia 5

137 min

19-Apr

THU

7:30 PM

The Other Dream Team

Magnolia 5

88 min

The final category is a special favorite of mine, the Talk/Show Panels.  This year filmmakers and other film industry persons talk about subjects ranging from Screenwriting to Politics in Film and Its Influence.  There are also two panels featuring conversations with men who made a difference in the film industry.  One is with Eric Pleskow, the former president of United Artists and Orion Pictures movie studios.  The other is with Bernie Pollack, a Dallas Star Award Honoree and legendary costume designer.  Note that this event takes place at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

14-Apr

SAT

11:00 AM

Talk/Show – Power Producers

Nasher

14-Apr

SAT

1:00 PM

Talk/Show – Screenwriting on the Next Level

Nasher

14-Apr

SAT

3:00 PM

Talk/Show – Actors as Directors

Nasher

15-Apr

SUN

1:00 PM

Talk/Show – Acquisition & New Distribution Models

Nasher

15-Apr

SUN

3:00 PM

Talk/Show – Politics in Film and Its Influences – Part I

Nasher

21-Apr

SAT

11:00 AM

Talk/Show – Politics in Film and Its Influences – Part II

Nasher

21-Apr

SAT

1:00 PM

Talk/Show – A Conversation with Bernie Pollack

Nasher

21-Apr

SAT

3:00 PM

Talk/Show – A Conversation with Eric Pleskow

Nasher

Told you my list was long!  I know that I will miss a lot of these events because there simply isn’t time enough in the day to see everything AND attend the daily red carpets (I am going to be shooting stills), parties, and webcasts.  Thankfully I have an amazing team of reviewers, interviewers/hosts, videographers and photographers to work with me to bring as much of the festival to you that we can.  We will be taking a photograph of the team this Wednesday at the Press Reception and it will be posted on the Selig Film News Facebook page as well as the blog!

To find out more about these films and events, click on http://diff2012.dallasfilm.org/.  More information on tickets and vouchers, including the location of the Prekindle Main Box Office, can be found at this link: http://diff2012.dallasfilm.org/fest-info/getting-around/box-office-information/.  However you get your tickets, come out and have a great time!  I know I will!

-Doc Strange

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