Kim Voynar has posted some excellent dispatchreports this week from AFI Dallas. However, she neglected to mention one thing -- that I was there too! And no, I was not so embarrassing that she couldn't mention me, I did not misbehave at the hotel bar, and that story about me in the sushi restaurant is vastly exaggerated. Nor did I attempt to flirt with the Men in Black at the Beings screening. However, I think it's time for me to share my side of the story. I was only in Dallas from Saturday through Tuesday morning, but I got a good taste of the inaugural AFI Dallas film festival.
I've lived in Austin for 15 years, and Austinites harbor stereotypes about Dallas. We've been known to protest certain developments or events in town because "what is this, Dallas? No way!" If Austin has a secret lust for turning into Berkeley, we think Dallas has a secret lust for turning into Los Angeles. I had trouble packing for this trip because I thought I'd look underdressed in my usual t-shirts and jeans ... I was right, but I decided not to care. Fortunately for me, the festival occurred at the perfect time of year for the Austin-Dallas drive; the sides of the highways were lined with bluebonnets and other wildflowers.
Since I was in Dallas just for an extended weekend, I had to limit myself to the two main AFI Dallas venues: the Angelika and the Magnolia. By a happy coincidence, our hotel was across the street from the Angelika, although crossing that street was practically life-threatening. It was obviously not a pedestrian-friendly part of town. Here's a picture of the Angelika from the outside, all decked out for the festival: