Looking Back at the 2014 Oak Cliff Film Festival.
The third annual Oak Cliff Film Festival neatly wrapped up the festival on Sunday night with its closing awards ceremony, which was then followed by a screening of the closing night film, the Terrence Malick-produced narrative on Abe Lincoln, The Better Angels.
Over the weekend, I served on the “Narratives Features” jury, along with producer James M. Johnston (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) and director Zach Clark (White Reinder) and, in a 1, 2, 3, SAY YOUR PICK!!! unanimous vote, we awarded the Grand Jury Prize for the narrative competition to Lawrence Michael Levine's Wild Canaries, a screwball comedy a la Woody Allen's Manhattan Murdery Mystery.
And even though I wasn't afforded the chance to use my shank during the jury deliberation — movie-picking can be a dangerous game — this weekend as a whole was a solid time.
As mentioned in my OCFF preview, one of the events I was really looking forward to most was the double-bill of Dog Day Afternoon and The Dog, a documentary on the real-life inspiration for Al Pacino's character from DDA. First ,DDA flared on the big screen in 35mm, and, later, P.F. Kluge stuck around for a brief discussion about the film. And, yes, it's kind of surreal watching him discuss this huge Hollywood film based off his Times article from decades ago.
Still, the real highlight of the festival wasn't the film lineup — which very much was deeply satisfying — but rather the atmosphere. What makes the Oak Cliff Film Festival stand out among other festivals is the camaraderie you feel at it. In attendance are actors, directors, press and film fans — all the Who's Whos — and everyone hangs out after the screenings for beer, tacos, and film discussion.
The boys behind the Texas Theatre and OCFF often talk the talk when it comes to letting everyone know that they're film fans first, but they walk the walk at this annual affair in bringing all of these guests together and in building a solid community of cinephiles around it.