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Dallas VideoFest: A Primer On What To Expect

For those inexperienced or unsure of the “film festival” atmosphere, Dallas VideoFest28 should be the perfect time to dip their toes into the festival waters. A communal and one-setting event, it’s a breeding ground for films both regionally and internationally (125 of them).

Even though the festival officially kicked off earlier this week with a Yen Tan art exhibit and a special event of Metropolis featuring the Dallas Chamber Symphony and the SMU Dance team, films begin screening Thursday night and run through Sunday, October 18 at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

A few highlights of the event are as follows:

Jackelope, directed by Ken Harrison- one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a while is Jackelope, a documentary that follows several Texas artists in the mid 1970’s as they travel the vast expanse of Texas (with a pit stop in New York) to exhibit and share their unique “Texas funk” creations. Ranging from sculpture work to painting to fabricated exhibitions, the film hits some sentimental notes with me when one scene purportedly shows some of the men shooting guns and blowing cars up in my hometown, probably only a few miles from the very house I lived in for years. Aimless, entrancing and fascinating, Jackelope (which originally aired on KERA in 1976) is a terrific time capsule exploring the against-the-grain philosophy of the snooty art world paradigms.

Jackelope screens on Saturday, October 17 at 3:30pm

Havana Motor Club, directed by Bent Jorgen Perlmutt- No ‘gearhead’ intelligence needed with this one as Perlmutt’s film lays out the dynamics of Cuban street racing’s quest for legitimacy well. Following two sets of car builders and the tireless efforts of car lovers around Cuba to establish a racing order that matters, Havana Motor Club is a solid documentary that fawns over and explains its subjects and their metallic creations. It also raises some ironic questions, including why did such personal freedoms become illegal immediately after the Cuban revolution that fought for such a thing. It’s an entertaining examination of male bravado and showmanship.

Havana Motor Club screens on Sunday October 18th at 8:15 pm.


Buckwheat’s World, directed by Andrew Kolker and Louis Alvarez- Mosaic portrait of zydeco player Stanley Dural Jr. that mixes video, backstage footage and direct interviews to flesh out a thrilling portrait of not only the musician, but the food, camaraderie and overall lazy feeling of Louisianna and its ensconced musical heritage.

Buckwheat’s World screens Friday October 16th at 9:30pm.


Other films and events to watch for:

Charlie Kaufman’s latest mind-screw entitled Anomalisa

Albert Maysles’ final film In Transit

Veteran festival films such as Krisha, (T)error and Excess Flesh

Aint It Cool News, with Harry Knowles in attendance

Ernie Kovacks award presentation to comedians Bob and Chris Elliot

Local interest films such as Cinema I and II: A History of Movies In Dallas As Seen Through NorthPark’s Iconic Theater and Big D Film Festival

Dozens of short film blocks sure to amaze, surprise and, perhaps, turn one onto a new talent.

Full festival info, tickets and schedules can be found at videofest.org. All screenings and events will take place at the Angelika Dallas from Thursday, October 15 through Sunday, October 18.