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DIFF2014 – Take Two … Not A Bad Night At All

April 5th, 2014 · Tags:Arts · Cities

 

Bad Dude

I love a good t-shirt. And I love a good spoof. Hard to say which I heart more. But when the two come together, oh happy day. So, on the photo gauntlet red carpet for The 2014 Dallas International Film Festival, I spotted this t-shirt. Soon I learned the hipster donning such was none other than the director of one of the best films I have seen at the festival.

 

Eric Hueber, writer/director of “Flutter” wasn’t wearing Armani or Klein or Versace or Lauren … he was was wearing Kurt. Kurt Russell. Have you seen this shirt? Oh how I wished I had seen it first. It is a play on the old “I Heart NY” t-shirt. Except, instead of a heart, the shirt designer inserted a rustic, faded, vintage photo of Kurt Russell with an eye patch. Anyone who was once a pimply, teenage boy can tell you it is a photo from Russell’s cult favorite, apocalyptically bad film “Escape From New York.” (Through the magic that is 150 cable channels, I have seen bits and pieces of it dozens of times. Who knows, with NetFlix, made I will actually watch the masterpiece un todo one day.)

 

Escape From New York

 

So … I mentioned I love a good prank. Let me also mention that I am really stupid, and anyone who knows me can verify this. I use that to my advantage, at least in my mind. So I like to say really stupid things and see how people react — kind? … aloof? … annoyed? So, rather than comment on the originality of the director’s black Aquaman looking sports goggle glasses, I had to comment on the shirt.

 

“Hey man! Loved your film “Flutter,” but I really, really love-love your t-shirt. That’s “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” right? See … I was taking a chance here. I knew the director was pretty young. There was a pretty good chance that “Escape” was the director’s first taste of Kurt Russell. But … to us real film veterans, we all know that is when Kurt’s career had already begun a 40-year downward spiral. “Escape” for Russell was sort of like Michael Jackson hitting puberty and his voice changing. It was the end of his best material, his child career stuff … however MJ is more widely known for the inferior “Thriller” instead of “Stop The Love You Save.” Follow that? So … the director may or may not have been as familiar with Russell’s early years — churning out Walt Disney hit films about horse races, family bands and computer geniuseseses. See … I was kind of punkin him. The two Kurt characters were polar opposites, and no human could ever confuse the two. But me.

 

Ha … I think he just saw through the ruse and realized I was an imbecile. Politely, he explained the guy with the eye patch was not Kurt Russell in “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” but was actually the “Mad Max-like” savior of humanity from New York.

 

Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

 

I guess you would have had to have been there. I was amused and it helped pass the time as stars and soon-to-be stars were paraded before our cameras.

 

On a more serious note, Hueber and I discussed the little animated surprises that just seem to pop up in an otherwise straight-forward real life film. How did he decide exactly how much animation to insert into “Flutter” … not too much or too little?

 

Hueber

“Ha. We put in as much as we could afford. I would have put more,” he said. The first time the animation took over the screen, I immediately thought of some Monty Python animated clip, stuck in a skit, out of context. No connection. Hueber said he was a fan of all animation in general.

 

Flutter

 

Also notable during the night .. a threesome of  film types who insisted I take there shot together, after I had shot them separately. Just as the camera shutter was about to click. producer/actor Steve Eckelman raised his fist in the air … almost like a victorious salute on an Olympics winner’s stand. The woman in the middle just smiled. Then the other guy, dressed in the Austin, Texas uniform — beard, pearl-snap western shirt and glasses — flashed the Texas Longhorns finger sign.

 

 

I put the camera down.

 

“Hey … put that thing down,” I spouted, in mock disgust.

 

He smiled and said oh, sorry. (I did’t really care.) But was trying to get response and facial expressions. So, I said, “Why don’t you give me one these.” I showed him the proper technique of making one’s palm, forefinger and thumb into the “Guns Up,” trigger happy gesture of Texas Tech. (Hey … Peter Fonda, “The Easy Rider” flashed the “Guns Up” for me on the red carpet a few years, back, why can’t you?)

 

 

Oh my goodness … you would have thought I had informed him that his pearl snaps were not snapped evenly. I think he got a little upset. And his witty reply, “Sorry, my test scores won’t allow me to do that.” … Ha … or something like that.

 

“Sir. I assure you, I was found to be academically unfit for much better schools than UT.”

 

Damn it! He saw through me and realize just how stupid I am. He got me.

 

No seriously … we joked about the friendly rivalry, as we both quietly thought about how much we hate the arrogance of the other’s school.

A Wilson

 

Well … I shook his hand and went back to shooting stars, starlets. Most of the players from “Flutter” stop to chat. Also on the rug were “the other Wilson,” Andrew Wilson (“Satellite Beach”) – certainly not the conversational one of the three.

Pulsipher

Perhaps the biggest stars of the night were two regulars from HBO’s “Bad Blood” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” … Ha … not a “Bad” night. Both Lindsay Pulsipher and Jesse Plemons also were in “Flutter.” Pulsipher flourishes in the baking of medicinal brownies. Plemons shows off his singing and guitar playing … a slightly more likable character than the murderous apprentice cook Todd in BB. Still … I commented to him in my worst Middle Eastern accent, “You know … you are a vurry vurry bod mon.” Not amused. I think he took it personally … or maybe just had enough grip and grin for one night.

 

Still … it was a good night in Dallas.

Know what I sayin?