I’m not quite sure why it’s happened, but Oklahoma has found itself in the front and dead-center of the cinema fraternity more than once lately. Not only have we welcomed Hollywood royalty the likes of Meryl Streep, William H Macy, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Selena Gomez (fresh off her role in the best movie of the year/all-time: Spring Breakers)…but we have also quietly been building up what has already been described as one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals In The World.”
The thirteenth annual deadCENTER Film Festival starts this week, and although we’re still two years away from what will surely be a Quinceanera-themed 2015 festival, this year is supposed to be the biggest/drunkest one yet. I was lucky enough to end up on the ‘screening committee’ last winter, so I have seen a lot of the best and worst things that will be featured at this week’s fest, and have put together a list of what I believe to be the five things that you shouldn’t miss:
1. The Kings Of Summer (Friday, 7:00pm, Devon Auditorium)
Arguably the most hyped film of the entire week after it received rave-reviews at Sundance, this is the one you’ll need to arrive early for. It’s the story of a kid that looks like he could have been an extra in ‘Twilight’, rebelling against his father and running away to the woods with his friends and blah blah blah…basically, you need to see this film for two reasons: Nick Offerman and Alison Brie. This greater-than-dynamic duo play characters that are nowhere near our beloved Ron Swanson and Annie Edison, but you still can’t help but dream of meat-tornadoes and this whenever they appear on the big screen. Rumors are buzzing about Nick Offerman possibly making his second consecutive appearance in downtown Oklahoma City to support this film, which means that all you Duke Silver fans will have a second chance to let him allow you to be in the same room as him.
Oh, and I guess the movie is pretty good, too.
2. A Year In The Life Of Wayne’s Phone (Sunday, 7:00pm, Harkins Bricktown Cinema)
Oklahoma’s very own anti-hero gets another shot at stroking his ego when this ‘film’ premiers on Sunday night. Wayne Coyne literally compiled EIGHTY MINUTES of footage that he has taken with his cell phone and has turned it into (what will most likely be) the world’s worst Vine. I actually didn’t get a chance to view this yet, and have been racking my brain trying to think of things that would actually ‘surprise’ me in this film. All I could think of would be a hypothetical scene where Wayne wasn’t being kind of a total car wreck. I *HOPE* so much that this mass-indulgence will feature exploits from his time with Ke$ha, a little insight into his recent separation, an ode to how great OKC is, and an apology for the new Flaming Lips album is; but I’m pretty sure it will just be a lot of partying with young girls and some airport hijinks.
Maybe eat some mushrooms before you see this.
3. Favor (Saturday, 5:00pm, Harkins Bricktown Cinema)
This was my personal favorite film from my time on the screening committee this year, and there are not even boobs in it. The mantra of “you can tell how good a friend is by whether or not they’d help you move a dead body” is echoed in the beginning of the trailer and the movie is called “Favor” so you can pretty much put the pieces together from there. Despite some questionable acting choices, this film made me legitimately cringe (in a good way?) and stuck with me for days after viewing. I dare you to try and guess how you think this one is going to end once it gets started, and if you ever need help moving a dead body may I suggest Spencer?
4. Out Of Print (Saturday, 2:00pm, Downtown Library)
I said that “Favor” was my personal favorite, but ‘Out Of Print” was the highest-rated film of the entire group combined.
This is like “An Inconvenient Truth” for hipsters in the sense that it is letting us know how fucked we are as a society, while simultaneously placing emphasis on boring vintage literature. Basically we, as Americans, apparently don’t read ‘books’ anymore because we’re all busy trying to collect fake Twitter followers and get past level 65 on Candy Crush. iPads and Kindles are forcing publishers and magazines to go out of business and/or do things like this to try and keep up in a digital renaissance. All of this combined is bad news for people who read things, but great news for people who want to exploit their hard times for views.
A film about publishing might sound kind of boring, but that’s also what they said about the documentary about a font. And it was pretty great.
5. Party (All the time, everywhere)
There are a lot of parties at deadCENTER. A lot. Everything from award ceremonies to dance battles. There are obviously tons of great films to see, but don’t forget to go get social with the filmmakers and actors that are in town for the week that just want to be validated. A lot of them have never been to Oklahoma before and I think we owe it to them to show them an awesome time and prove that we’re not just a state that’s getting constantly ravaged by shitty weather. We also like to party. Check out the full schedule and make sure to stop by one or two of them if you get the chance. Drunk cinefiles are my favorite cinefiles.
There are literally hundreds of other things happening outside of what I have outlined, so go check out their website and make plans to be downtown this weekend. It should be pretty great.