Yesterday was another relaxing day at the Nashville Film Festival. I caught Marco Williams' BANISHED at 2pm, which impressed the shit out of me. I don't know why, but I thought I was getting into something that was going to be brash and didactic. Instead, BANISHED tackles its incredibly tricky subject matter with grace, patience, and warmth. Williams taught all of my North Carolina School of the Arts buddies back in the day, so the NCSA hot streak continues. What do they put in the water at that film school? They should bottle and sell it to aspiring filmmakers everywhere.
In the afternoon, I had a phone call that might actually mean PING-PONG SUMMER is on its way to becoming an actual-factual reality. I don't want to jinx things, but once I get to a point where PPS appears to have a life of its own and can't be stopped, I will certainly share the good news. For now, I'm feeling cautious, but excited. Send happy vibes into the cosmos, please.
Last night's SILVER JEW screening was quite special. Our special guest introducer was Nashville's own cinematic wunderkind, Harmony Korine, who's latest, MISTER LONELY, made it into the Un Certain Regard program in next month's Cannes. I can't wait to see that jammy-jam. Harmony's introduction was really sweet. We chatted while the movie was showing, and I told him that I had been in Telluride when he screened GUMMO there. I attended a panel where he and Oliver Stone got in a ridiculous verbal sparring match. Oliver Stone's behavior at that Telluride will forever earn him the label "PENIS" in my mind. Embarrassing stuff.
Anyway, the screening was well attended, and just about everybody stayed for the Q&A. But when we brought Cassie down to help out and opened the floor for questions, we were met with stares and silence. It actually got kind of awkward, until New York City super-blogger Andrew Krucoff got the ball rolling. The fact that people stayed must have meant that they didn't hate it, but it was a little bit strange. My humorous attempts to break the ice were also met with silence. I guess that just happens sometimes.
The party at The Basement was also a lot of fun. Tim Chad and Sherry got hilariously funky, and Spiritual Family Reunion closed the night with a really moving set. Carol's been telling me about Patty's band for years, but I had no idea that they were gonna be so good. Recent additions to the band are two beautiful, innocent high school kids, Caitlin and Levon, who add even more spirit to the already spiritual proceedings. Thanks for putting that party together, Matt!
None of us are expecting much of a crowd at this afternoon's screening, but if even three people show up, that'll be a nice victory. I'm going to see the Irish film, SMALL ENGINE REPAIR, tonight, and hopefully some other things along the way. I like it here a lot. There's no pressure whatsoever, which is very refreshing. Only one more day, though, which kinda sucks, but I'll do my best to take advantage of what the Nashville Film Festival has to offer. Aww yeah...