I got back earlier today from Jacksonville. Wow. I take back anything negative I ever thought about that city. My experience capturing the dirtier side of town while making COCAINE ANGEL incorrectly scarred me. On Friday night, we ended up at a bar/club that was filled with pretty young people who were actually smiling. And I talked to many people who shared my cinematic and music interests to a degree that I didn't encounter in my first go 'round in that town. Anyway, I apologize for ever having thought negatively about Jacksonville. I really, really dig it there.
Granted, my experience there this time around was on the extreme opposite side of the coin. Housed in a nice hotel, being shuttled around by my own personal "host"--who happened to be a supercool, pretty gal--I pretty much felt like royalty. Which, I suppose, is as extreme and unrealistic a version of life as was my version of it during the production of CA. Needless to say, I'll take the royalty approach next time around!
For any/all filmmakers, I would strongly suggest you apply to Jacksonville next year, and I would just about order you to actually attend the festival if your film is accepted. It's a shame that so few filmmakers were there (Cullen Hoback, Alex Orr, Bryan Poyser, QUIET CITY Cris, and a few other stragglers), but for those of us who were, we'll be talking about it for a long time to come.
I was so struck by ONCE that I saw it again on Friday. I can't stop thinking about it. It's soooooo good. I'm desperate to see it again, actually. After that, I rushed next door to see THE CASSIDY KIDS, which appears to be one of the few chances to see that movie. I was really impressed with the film's execution, which had all the makings for a low-budget failure (flashbacks, etc.). But somehow they pulled it off. I was very impressed. Since everyone else was going to watch QUIET CITY, I sat through it again. It's a special little movie. If I wasn't in it I'd probably like it even more. But I guess my part is funny. Just a tad distracting.
Saturday was one of the more legendary days of my festival run. Alex Orr (BLOOD CAR) promised that he's going to write an essay of sorts chronicling our misadventures. The day began at 9:30am with a bus tour of Jacksonville hosted by the Jacksonville Film and Television Office's Todd Roobin, who flooded us with screwdrivers. We then downed a mimosa before slipping into the Zellner/Duplass shorts, which Alex had never seen. I can't get enough of those things. I mean it when I say that THE INTERVENTION is one of my favorite films ever. And FOXY AND THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD is also up there. After that, we ate lunch, my sister Colleen arrived from Charleston, and while I sent her off to catch GREAT WORLD OF SOUND with Alex's amazing host, "Jacksonville" Mike, we settled into the Blood Car hotel room with Alex and Mike Brune and Adam Pinney, to polish off a bottle of Dewar's and have one of the more entertainingly retarded conversations of recent memory. It was also here where Adam turned us on to the Normal Mailer/Rip Torn fight footage from Mailer's MAIDSTONE. How have I been alive this long and not known about that?
I just realized that recapping the day won't do it justice. Or at least I can't right now. I'm too tired, and I trust that Alex will do it better than I ever could. Suffice to say, Saturday was fun-fun-fun-fun-fun. And sufficer to say, Cullen Hoback is a raging maniac. Somebody stop that young man!
I'd like to thank everyone involved at the Jacksonville Film Festival for treating us so well. I couldn't have had a cooler host (thanks, Amy Moore!), Tim Massett is the nicest guy ever with the best taste ever, and the staff leader, Mase, was our own personal savior, allowing us to party with them at the after-after hours shindigs every night.
I didn't take pictures this time around, but fortunately Colleen did. Watch this slideshow if you're looking for something to do. I'm 100% adjusted to my new hair, but it'll probably be jarring for those of you who haven't spent time around me yet. Oh well...