We End Our Lives As Moles/In the Dark of Dawn Patrol
Hilarious sexual metaphors aside, the after party was a fine affair, highlighted by our drinking the bar out of Stella and the karaoke stylings of Cacky Poarch, the Singletree boys (The Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch”) , and S.I., who may have sung “Sister Christian,” or maybe “La Habanera” from Carmen, I really don’t recall at this point.
Some time around midnight, it was time to head to the after-after party. This year, I was accorded a special place of honor: accompanying Ian to Bobo’s to pick up the annual ambrosia, AKA the chicken wings. I’d been told every year that Bobo’s was located in the “bad part” of OKC, and while the area isn’t someplace I’d recommend you stroll through after one too many beers (oops), speaking as someone who’s wandered the shadier areas of London, Paris, Washington, DC, Houston, and Baltimore, I think they need to rethink the “bad part” of that statement.
Bobo’s proprietor Sharon (pictured at right, above) helpfully came out and told us about a typical weekend night, which doesn’t really get going until 2 or 3 AM. We were witness to this very phenomenon, as increasingly surly patrons lined up waiting for Sharon and company to complete our $250 order. Hastily retreating with our 24 boxes of wings and biscuits, we returned to the after-after party.
The fete was held on the roof of an undisclosed building, in an undisclosed area of town, with undisclosed people. I actually looked for pics from that evening, and they all either mysteriously disappeared from my camera, or were deleted by agents unknown. It’s probably better that way, as there was no shortage of scandalous tales. A certain senior member of the festival committee came dangerously close to plummeting to his/her death, while there were several discreet (and not so) hook-ups, all facilitated by the unlit surroundings.
As big a fan as I am of staying out until dawn, I was going to be returning home in a few hours, where my wife would unceremoniously dump three kids in my lap and flee to the nearest health spa/wine bar. Hangovers suck, but a hangover spent taking care of two infants and a six-year old is like sitting through Attack of the Clones while WWII Japanese scientists give you a vivsection without anesthesia.
So I did what any red-blooded American film “journalist” would have…I wimped out. I still made it to 4 AM, but only because I lipped every drink handed to me after midnight (my apologies to Melissa’s husband Todd, who poured that whiskey in good faith). As dawn threatened to expose the party’s post-bacchanalian underbelly, I bade my farewells, embarking on my customary solitary walk back to the hotel. I get a lot of crap for this, but who doesn’t enjoy playing like Charlton Heston in The Omega Man every year or so?
Was I tired when I rolled out of bed at the crack of 11 the next morning? Sure, but still (relatively) sober, at least. And as I was carted back to the airport (this time by volunteer extraordinnaire Alyx Picard) I reflected, for the third time now, how wired tight the deadCENTER festival is. As an outsider (with benefits) I’m privy to only a fraction of the behind-the-scenes drama that takes place, but none of this is ever evident to the festival guests. All they know is how well-run deadCENTER is, and how enthusiastic everyone involved really is. All we are saying is, f you’re looking for a festival that puts the emphasis on spreading the gospel of independent film, and yet doesn’t shrink from all-American debauchery, give deadCENTER a chance.
Postscript 1: It’s taken me an inordinate amount of time to write this, for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here. Because of this, I’m able to spread the unwelcome news that Cacky Poarch and Melissa Scaramucci are stepping down as Executive Director and Programming Director, respectively. I don’t envy whoever is chosen to fill their shoes, but I’m confident Kim and company will find the right people.
Postscript 2: If you’ve read this far, you deserve to know my eye was actually blackened when someone backed into me as I was carrying a stack of chairs into the Midnight Shorts screening. Festival life can be brutal, y’all.
Want to read it all over again? Check out the start of Pete’s adventures at the 2010 deadCenter Film Festival in Part One…