Sunday Mornings

Texas, here I come!

My suitcase weighs 49.5 pounds. It is packed to capacity. The other bag is full of shoes. Why a bag just for shoes? Because when you stand on your feet for 12+ hours a day (sometimes running into a theater) one or two pairs of shoes for two weeks is not going to work.

I’m ready for more BBQ and breakfast tacos, familiar faces and a big Texas sky. Plus Whataburger. I’ve been craving it all week.

Keeping it short and sweet on this travel day. Here’s a few odds and ends that have been on my mind lately:

  • A new podcast from the crew of This American Life and Serial! S-Town is here on March 28. I’ll be binging on my flight post-festival, until then no spoilers please!
  • Face palm.
  • ICYMI, Cate Blanchett & Richard Linklater start shooting the adaptation of Where’d You Go, Bernadette this summer.
  • I was sad to hear of the passing of Amy Krouse Rosenthal earlier this month. In case you missed it, grab some kleenex and read one of the of her last (beautiful) essays.
  • One of the tricks about finding a place to live in LA is figuring out how far you are from the freeway or airport, both as a convenience and for all the noise/pollution. You can look up your neighborhood here: National Transportation Noise Map. #NoiseNerd
  • More science to geek out: Scientists Catch Star And Possible Black Hole In A Rapid, Dangerous Dance. Space. is. so. crazy.
  • Late March/early April is FULL of great film festivals. Kudos to all my friends out there making it happening with amazing lineups this year. Indiewire (which use to have larger coverage of film festivals in general) has a post that gives a run down of some announcements.
  • This Tropical Strawberry Hibiscus Rum Spitz cocktail looks so deliciously bright and colorful.
  • This: “At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our thinking especially clear. “

Enjoy this lovely spring day! Thanks for reading!

DIFF 2017: The lineup

Part of what has made the last few weeks so crazy has been locking down a program. For the last eleven years, I’ve been lucky to be part of the programming team at the Dallas Film Society. This week we’re announcing the 11th festival program and I couldn’t be more proud of this lineup accomplished with my colleagues, James Faust (Artistic Director) and Daniel Laabs (Programming Coordinator).

I often compare the Dallas International Film Festival as being like a child for me. I’ve seen it birthed from nothing to supporting it through growing pains and now entering a new decade. This festival and it’s programming has been a big part of my life – I have met incredible friends, amazing artists, even my husband, through my work with DIFF. My experiences working with DIFF have helped shape me into the person I am today.

A lot of emotion and thoughtfulness goes into each film selected and where/why it plays within the entire event. It is a GIANT puzzle piece. Is this group/community/audience/voice represented? Is this topic covered? Will this film stimulate a conversation that needs to happen? How does it work counter to this other film? Are we piecing together any themes? Then you have to actually schedule them.

One of the hardest parts is keeping it a secret and containing my excitement around what I am working on. The announcement is like a breath of fresh air. To be working for months and finally having something to share is a thrill. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted.

Two very cool highlights to mention include a spotlight on one of the best years in cinema history, 1967, and L.M. “Kit” Carson Maverick Honoree, David Gordon Green.

Bonnie & Clyde
Bonnie & Clyde (1967)

My programming with DIFF focuses mostly on documentary features and shorts. While I’m proud of the whole festival program, I am particularly excited about the Documentary Competition, Showcase, Deep Ellum Sounds and Shorts Competition sections. These are films you’ll hear about later. Filmmakers that should be on your radar. My goal is to bring the best of what I see to Dallas audiences and this program reaches that goal and then some. The 2017 lineup includes a total of 122 films. That’s at least 122 friends being added to my DIFF family. What a great feeling.

Quest
Quest (2017)

Take a look at the 2017 DIFF program here. I’ll be discussing more about DIFF in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

I’d love to hear what you find interesting in this lineup or if you have any particular questions about the process you’d like me to cover over the next few weeks. Let me know in the comments!

 

Sunday Mornings

It feels like winter in Southern California. That is, this is the most wintery-winter I’ve ever experienced in LA. Plenty of rain and cool nights. It made me realize I’ve only ever lived in California during this several-years-long drought. I’m enjoying the rainy weather, mostly because I’m staying inside binging on hours of film submissions (and hot ginger tea).

Tomorrow I’m making my annual pilgrimage to the mountains of Utah, where there is real winter with snow and below freezing temperatures. Not my strong suit, but I’ll survive. With the aid of hot beverages and several cozy layers.

And now a few long reads and highlights from the world-wide web:

  • I’m team Moonlight. The background behind the story and the film is almost as beautiful as the film itself.
  • For those of you who can’t get enough of LA LA Land, you’ll enjoy this location map. Mia’s commute would suuuuck.
  • I’ve had “That Is Not What I Meant At All Face” on more than one occasion. And a few of the others, like “I Need a Cheeseburger and Possibly Two Face”.
  • Still missing Davie Bowie. A fun read: Stage Oddity: The Story of David Bowie’s Secret Final Project.
  • I’ve never been to Coachella, but I find the mix of money, politics and music fascinating. Waking Up to Coachella’s Conservative Tinge
  • And discuss: How Netflix is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers
  • E and I went down memory lane recently and played The Oregon Trail while listening to ’90s music. Talk about a wild stay-at-home date night!
  • Mark your calendars: May 21. Guess this means we’ll be getting Showtime…
  • Most people have a general understanding of how a film is edited, but have you ever thought about an editor’s role on an animated film?
  • After attending advertising classes in SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, I was fortunate to start my film programming career with the launch of the AFI Dallas International Film Festival (now known as Dallas International Film Festival). The festival came together in due part to the work of legendary Dallasite and the festival’s co-founder, Liener Temerlin. Thinking of those early days with his frequent office visits and a particular opening night when he walked to the back of the theater to discuss with the staff how to get a long-winded Mickey Rooney off the stage. Thanks for your leadership and civic service, Mr. Temerlin. Rest in peace.

I hope your Sunday is filled with something warm and bright. Be kind. Treat yourself. May be a rough week ahead.