When Black Friday Comes, I’m Gonna Dig Myself a Hole

Friday morning I indulged in a pastime I’d not enjoyed since the birth of my twins: sleeping past 7 AM. And even if I wasn’t entirely refreshed upon waking, I was at least ready to start drinking again.

The afternoon began with good intentions. I got some lunch and set out to take some pictures of downtown for the benefit of you wonderful readers. Hell, I was even on my way to the Oklahoma City Memorial when festival board member (and MOA film curator) Brian Hearn pulled up to invite me to lunch. Having just eaten, I declined, to which he replied, “I’ve got Elvis Mitchell in the car.”

Anyway, here’s the one pic I took.

Why am I having flashbacks to Klendathu?

After re-introducing myself to Elvis, who claimed to remember meeting me at SXSW ( a gentleman to the last), we adjourned for Leo’s, a ramshackle BBQ joint nestled against the railroad tracks. I contented myself with an iced tea while everyone else enjoyed the ‘cue.

Brian and Elvis discuss college football realignment.

If I have one complaint about deadCENTER, it’s the difficulty out-of-towners have tracking down eats. On weekdays, it’s not so much of a problem, but during the weekend you’re limited to the sushi/sports bar near the museum (good for a shot and a beer, but I’m still not bold enough to try Oklahoma unagi) or the various hotel restaurants. That is, unless you shake down one of the locals, or feel like schlepping to Bricktown.

The afternoon was rounded out by a look at the “Sketch to Screen” exhibit on Hollywood costume design that Brian put together for the MOA. It’s an impressive display that includes everything from Charlie Chaplin’s shoes to Frank Langella’s Skeletor costume from Masters of the Universe. Truly, cinema is a rich tapestry.

Friday night meant more movies, including the newly restored Metropolis, with about 25 minutes of added footage that, honestly, don’t add much. Fritz Lang’s mash-up of Biblical epic and technocratic cautionary tale is something I hadn’t sat through since high school, but it was good to see it on the big screen. The movie’s 2 1/2-hour running time meant I unfortunately had to miss The Four-Faced Liar, and so headed over to see Simmons on Vinyl, the latest effort from the guys at Singletree Productions.

I’ve been hyping these dudes since I caught The Stanton Family Grave Robbery at the 2008 festival. Mark Potts, Brand Rackley, and Cole Selix are all annoyingly young recent OU grads who are producing comedies of such quality that if Adam Sandler saw them (and had the sense of shame god gave a basset hound), he’d retire. Simmons on Vinyl is predictably excellent, and if these guys aren’t more famous than Rob Schneider in 10 years, society has failed us all.

I headed to Midnight Shorts at the IAO Gallery afterward, where the atmosphere was decidedly subdued. I’m going to go out on a limb and attribute the lethargy to months of festival planning and three straight days of fest-related stress. One by one, people started slipping off to catch some Zs. I, however, was free of family constraints and ready for strong drink. Ergo, Bricktown.

My memories of what happened after Kevin dropped me off at the hotel are a little hazy. One of the hotel drivers gave me a ride to a bar called TapWerks (think the Ginger Man, but substitute the hippies with about a hundred “hand-stamped meatheads in coed naked lacrosse T-shirts power-chugging watered-down Meisterchau” – another Piven quote!). Some time after the third shot, I got into a…discussion with a few Oklahoma boys about conference realignment. Non-college football fans won’t give a s**t, but suffice to say they take their football seriously in OKC. The result…well, see the next page.

Read more of Pete’s adventures at the 2010 deadCenter Film Festival in Part Four

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