Non-musical, really, but still damn cool -- I've always wondered why the great-but-kinda-amateurish Houston International Film Festival was H-town's one and only real film fest. I mean, I've loved going to the "old" IFF over the years and have gotten to see some very cool stuff I'd never have caught otherwise (as well as an inordinate amount of utter crap, like that godawful movie with Holling from Northern Exposure as a guy who digs up an Egyptian queen in his backyard and does her bidding; WTF?), but it always felt like it could never measure up to similar film festivals elsewhere.
Hopefully this week/weekend changes all that. The 2009 Cinema Arts Festival Houston starts tonight, Wed., November 11th, and runs on through this coming Sun., November 15th, and it features some extremely sweet-sounding stuff. Tonight, opening night, includes a debut of Richard Linklater's newest film, Me and Orson Welles, and Precious, which looks interesting from the ads, at least. Later in the week, there'll be films and panels with folks like Guillermo Arriaga (writer of Amores Perros), Ant Farm (the folks behind the Cadillac Ranch), the band Dengue Fever (who provide music for The Lost World), the utterly otherworldly and eerie Tilda Swinton, who scares the living shit out of me and should probably be cast as evil fairy queens from now until the end of time (c'mon, you know who she is).
Anyway, this looks like a cool thing for the movie afficionados of this city. The screenings are all over the place, looks like -- the Angelika, the MFAH, the Univ. of Houston campus, etc. -- so check the Website for details & a full schedule of what's showing where. The headquarters, btw, is apparently what used to be the old Bookstop at Shepherd & Alabama; the H Box, this odd mobile film-screening room thing, is now stationed there for the festival, and I think that's where you can get tickets for the rest of it.
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