The Must-See Movies and Events At This Weekend's Fourth Annual Oak Cliff Film Festival.
Even though it's only existed for four years at this point, the Oak Cliff Film Festival has already made its mark as a charming movie festival that not only brings unique films and shorts to Dallas but one that also highlights the city's blossoming culture.
This year's festival, which kicks off this evening, should continue that trend as it features films taking inspiration from the no wave movement of the '70s and '80s, and hosts one-of-a-kind events at venues throughout Oak Cliff neighborhood, including The Texas Theatre, Kessler Theatre, The Bishop Arts Theatre, Wild Detectives and Jefferson Tower.
As with most film festivals, you've got two main ways of approaching this weekend's screenings. You can go in with all the knowledge and plan out your schedule, or you can go in blind as a bat and still find a films that you love and are surprised by. Either way, you're setting yourself up for a unique experience.
But, hey, if you want some direction — especially since this festival brings a more varied selection of films than most — here's a look at the films and events I'm most looking forward to seeing at this year's fest.
Tangerine. This film follows a working girl as she trounces through Los Angeles, trying to get to the bottom of a scandal involving her boyfriend. This movie is complete shot on an iPhone, which will bring a new perspective to its storytelling. This is OCFF's opening-night film, and it looks like it'll be quite a ride.
Here's where the OCFF really shines: Rather than just screening a film, the organizers like to take things up a notch by hosting an event following the film. Entertainment is a surreal comedy documentary featuring Gregg Turkington in his popular touring comedian role of Neil Hamburger, and following him as he road-trips across America performing in bars and restaurants. Immediately following the film's Friday night screening, Turkington will perform a live set of comedy in his Hamburger persona.
Body. It's always a good idea to save room for some horror films at film festivals, as you can usually find a hidden horror gem — one that will completely and genuinely scare you — that hasn't been yet picked up by a studio. This film's looking like OCFF's best best in this regard. This one focuses on three home-from-college friends who accidentally kill a groundskeeper, and the Hitchcockian nightmare of lies and tensions that begin mounting in the wake of that fateful moment. The atmosphere of the trailer alone looks incredibly promising.
The Midnight Swim. Here, three daughters who've lost their mother gather to piece together their memories of their matriarch. The film looks as if it's a home movie, but throughout the film, the lines of reality seem to blur. If you're looking for a film to make you think and question what you're seeing, check this one out.
20 Years of Madness. This documentary looks like it's got some real promise. It focuses on a public access television station in Detroit that once ran a Wayne's World-esque show called 30 Minutes of Madness that was created and run by a bunch of high school students. Now, 20 years later, the minds behind that show reunite to make one last episode in an attempt to recapture the glory of their youth.
The Sonics. Ask anyone familiar with OCFF and they'll tell you: This is the can't-miss event of the entire festival. No, it's not a movie — it's a concert — but it's a hell of an excuse to step away from the monotony of watching films all weekend long. Launched out of Tacoma, Washington, in the '60s, The Sonics are one of the first-ever garage punk bands, and a band whose efforts influenced an entire musical movement. Even cooler: This is the band's first performance ever in Dallas. There's a reason why music lovers adore the OCFF, and it's specifically because of programming like this.