Five Films Worth Seeing at the Oak Cliff Film Festival

On Tuesday, the Oak Cliff Film Festival unleashed the full line-up for its 2017 film festival. The OCFF is rapidly becoming Dallas-Fort Worth’s go-to film festival. Why? Their focus isn’t on big movies that are going to release all over the planet in a week or two; no, the passionate and driven team behind the festival focuses on great independent and repertory cinema. Here’s the quick rundown of what’s playing, followed by what we are definitely going to see:

New Cinema

Janicza Bravo’s Lemon

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story

Peter Vack’s Assholes

Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits

Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff’s The Strange Ones

John Carroll Lynch’s Lucky

Bob Byington’s Infinite Baby

Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund’s La Barracuda

Ronnie Garza and Charlie Vela’s As I Walk Through the Valley

Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya’s Cinema Travelers

Mike Ott’s California Dreams

Jamie Meltzer’s True Conviction

Jem Cohen’s World Without End

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry

Trent Haaga’s 68 Kill

Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours

Gabe Klinger’s Porto

Dustin Guy Defa’s Person to Person

Albert Serra’s Death of Louis XIV

Yuri Ancarani’s The Challenge

Kevin Phillips’ Super Dark Times

Radu Jude’s Scarred Hearts

Bret Whitcomb’s A Life in Waves

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre

Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild

Gnarly line-up, right? We want to see all of them. That may or may not be possible, but locking down the most anticipated will be seen. Here they are:

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story

I started a little movie website that did called GordonandtheWhale.com in 2007 (now defunct). I met multi-hyphenate David Lowery, a Dallasite like me, who was deep in making short films. After watching just one, Pioneer, I knew he was going to go on to do big things, and he did: Pete’s Dragon and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (produced by longtime brilliant collaborators Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston). Lowery’s back to his indie roots with a smaller film with big scares called A Ghost Story. Simple title that cuts straight to the point. This film comes from a once-small label now killing it you should know by now, A24. Pretty much anything they release is A+, so it makes A Ghost Story even more anticipated. (The simple marketing for A Ghost Story is super effective, too.)

Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff’s The Strange Ones

I met writer-director Lauren Wolkstein when I covered the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. She was there for her short Cigarette Candy, and like Lowery, I knew just by talking to her and seeing her short that she is a rare breed — focused and determined on showing a good story. She can do it in a few minutes, and now in a full-length feature. I will always follow this filmmaker because it’s so fun watching her in her element and what she does best: once again, show a good story. The Strange Ones was first a short that played at almost every film festival you can think of, so there’s more proof than my word that she’s got a brain full of talent.

John Carroll Lynch’s Lucky

I saw John Carrol Lynch’s Lucky at SXSW, and it stars the great Harry Dean Stanton as the cranky titular role, so it’s pretty difficult not to love. I mean, look at the poster, how could you not want to see this? For you weirdos out there, David Lynch co-stars as a bar pal desperate to find his pet turtle.

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry

This had me at Alejandro Jodorowsky, a wild filmmaker with chutzpah and guts. He’s got two films playing, the other being repertory and is called Santa Sangre, which we’re going to include as one in this list. It’s a big mistake missing any of this 88-year-old’s films on the big screen, especially you can catch it in delicious 35mm.

Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild

We lost this great filmmaker not too long ago, and the world of cinema wept, rightfully so. He left us with an oeuvre of great cinema. One of his best is hilarious and deranged Something Wild with Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith. This is his finest work to this writer, and Criterion Collection agrees.

Now you know the films we’re not going to miss; how about you tell us yours?

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