AFI Dallas celebrates its third year with a whopping 170+ movies! What's a confessed film buff to do? How does the saying go: so many movies, so little time? Okay, probably not, but AFI Dallas's film slate this year is jam packed with LOTS of goodies.
Below is a list of Flick Chick's must sees, or try-to-sees.
Be sure to Check back once the festival gets going -- there will be exclusive photos from the galas and special events, movie reviews and filmmaker interviews!
THE GARDEN - Documentary Showcase - In the heart of South-Central L.A., a lush community garden rose from the ashes of the 1992 riots. But in Dec. 2003, bulldozers poised to level the urban oasis. Scott Hamilton Kennedy captures the story from the moment the farmers receive eviction notices to the final verdict and shocking aftermath.
THE STORE - Special Presentations - THE STORE documents the Neiman-Marcus store and corporate headquarters in Dallas. Wiseman digs deep into what makes the Neiman's brand: selection, presentation, marketing, pricing and advertising. And the high end merchandise the store is known for is prominently on display: designer clothes and furs, jewelry, perfumes, shoes, electronic products, sportswear and china.
TYSON - Documentary Showcase - Director James Toback takes on one of the most brutal and most amazing stories in sports, the life of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. He interviews the boxer on such topics as his marriage to Robin Givens, his rape conviction and his 1997 ear-biting fight against Evander Holyfield.
VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR - Premiere Series - Produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, the film is an intimate, engaging and funny fly-on-the-wall exploration of one of Italy's richest and most famous men, legendary designer Valentino Garavani.
ZOMBIE GIRL - Texas Competition - Emily Hagins is making a zombie movie. It's feature length, it's bloody, and the zombies don't run. Just like it should be. But there's one difference between her film and every other zombie movie you've ever seen. Emily is 12.
BOLLYWOOD BEATS - Texas Competition - Raj is a down-on-his-luck dancer caught in a quagmire of failure and misery. But a chance encounter with Jyoti turns his life around. Jyoti brings together a motley group of dancers to join Raj's dance class and they discover themselves, finding love and acceptance where they never thought to look.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON SHORTS - Short films made by students in the Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts Film Club.
CHINATOWN - Special Presentations - A rare chance to see this 1974 gem on the big screen! Roman Polanski's elegant take on the 1930s hard-boiled detective genre is an outstanding example of why the '70s is considered one of Hollywood's great eras. Robert Towne's screenplay, loosely inspired by the often-shady dealings behind the transformation of arid Los Angeles into a sprawling metropolis, is both quotable and complex.
THE DUNGEON MASTERS - Documentary Showcase - Following three Dungeon Masters, Keven McAlester explores the Dungeons & Dragons subculture, its emphasis on creativity and imagination, and how it has translated into popular role-playing games today.
EVANGELION: 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE - World Cinema - The first film released in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy based on the original anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. New scenes and 3D GC technology will entice new fans and satisfy anime vets.
FROM THE DARK - Midnight Specials - Eight college friends gather at a remote cabin for an annual weekend of drinking and fun. When a blood-covered teenage girl crashes their party, she unwittingly brings something with her, that transforms every door of the cabin from an exit to an entrance of terror. With no place to go and nowhere to hide, paranoia flares as they wait for certain death that may take everyone of them before the morning comes.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM - Target Documentary Feature Competition - A look at our energy crisis from a perspective that many haven't inside the world of Texas oilmen. Interviews with wildcat and independent oilmen and the president of Shell Oil examine hard truths, the history and the future of this limited commodity upon which we have become so dependent.
THE HURT LOCKER - Premiere Series - Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal bring a soldier's-eye view of the Iraq war to the big screen.
An elite bomb squad plays a game of life and death in The Hurt Locker. As if diffusing bombs weren't nerve-wracking enough, the men have to deal with the political and cultural chaos rampant in Iraq. A new leader, James, takes over the unit and recklessly ignores the danger that surrounds the team. His subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge are shocked at his behavior and are soon struggling to control James and fighting for their lives.
THE LAST PICTURE SHOW - Special Presentations - Shot in black and white, Peter Bogdanovich's masterful depiction of the constraining elements of small-town life, with open landscapes that serve as a metaphor for the emptiness we all feel, made Cybill Shepherd a star and earned Cloris Leachman an Oscar. This screening is a preview to the new monthly AFI DALLAS series, "Book to Film," at the Nasher Sculpture Center.
NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD - Midnight Specials - Quentin Tarantino, the mad professor of cinematic exploitation, lends his encyclopedic knowledge of genre film to this documentary about the unheralded raunchy, raucous blood-soaked cinema shot in Australia in the '70s and early '80s.
PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI - Target Documentary Feature Competitiion - A Southern small-town high school prepares for its first racially integrated prom. Unbelievably, the year is 2008, and actor Morgan Freeman has persuaded the school to combine its black and white dances. Director Paul Saltzman follows the kids and their parents as they get ready for the big day and deal with change and racism.
RIP: A REMIX MANIFESTO - Deep Ellum Sounds - Centering on the mash-up musician, Girl Talk, Rip: A Remix Manifesto explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the modern media landscape and shattering the wall between users and producers.
ROCK SLYDE - Special Presentations - A film noir-comedy about down and out detective, Rock Slyde, who gets hired by a femme fatale. While he's away, his nemesis, the leader of a cult religion called Bartology, brainwashes Rock's trusty secretary, Judy Bee, and Rock must infiltrate the cult to get her back.
SKIN - Target Narrative Feature Competition - This story follows the life of Sandra Laing, who, despite being born to white Afrikaner parents, has light brown skin and curly hair. Sandra's parents set out to have her legally classified as "white" in apartheid-era South Africa, setting in motion a legal battle that marks Sandra with the strength and self-awareness that enable her to embrace her identity.
STUDENT SHORTS - Student Competition.
THE 2 BOBS - Premiere Series - Video gamemakers The 2 Bobs have their software stolen and plunge into a wacky underworld of spammers and Internet hoodlums to regain their property. When the Bobs meet The 2 Janes, a romance blossoms and reveals the identity of the thief.
THE BURNING PLAIN - Premiere Series - Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger star in writer and director Guillermo Arriaga's multi-threaded story about people seeking redemption.
The characters seem to be unrelated: a Portland, Ore., restaurant manager who has meaningless sexual encounters; a New Mexican couple in the throes of an illicit affair; a 16-year-old girl on a dangerous border crossing. But Arriaga brings them together as only the Academy Award-nominated writer of Amores perros, 21 Grams and Babel can.
For a complete listing of all AFI Dallas movies and activities, check out www.afidallas.com.