My CineVegas 2008 is pretty much over. Except for the ride to the airport in, probably, 10 hours, I won’t likely see any of my CineVegas friends for a while (except, you know, all the ones that’ll be at LAFF, or live in LA, or will be at whatever festival is after LAFF). I am sad that this year’s festival is over, but happy that I, again, was given the opportunity to come out and cover. I had an absolute blast, and even my last day was an exciting one (as the pics below will show). I’ll have more fest-specific thoughts come Monday, when the CineVegas wrap-up runs, but in the meantime, here’s the story of the end…

I spent the better part of the morning working on film reviews and didn’t make my way over to HQ until shortly before 3pm. When Jamie I got there, we were treated to an AMAZING spread of food. I tried to contain my glee (and appetite), but I ain’t going to lie, I made short work of two plates…

See how wonderful the shrimp look? They tasted EVEN BETTER!

After eating, Jamie headed out to see “Help Me Eros,” and I walked around chatting with the various filmmakers and other friends I’ve come to know as this fest, and many others, have gone on.

Nathan Zellner was too busy with his mail-order bride business to talk, but it wouldn’t be CineVegas without a Zellner photo.

I’ll admit it, I’m very immature, but what does this table look like to you? To me, and quite a few other people, it looked like some sort of phallic symbol of justice, reminding all that, yes, in film we do trust.

Same table, much funnier angle…

Now, the next series of photos deserve both a warning and an explanation. OK, here goes: When Don and I first got into town, we had this idea to pose for topless photos down by the Planet Hollywood pool. The idea being that we’re two people no one should ever see with our shirts off, and we really wanted to affect a male model vibe, for humor’s sake. The problem is, no one was around to take said picture. I was lamenting the situation to filmmaker Ben Bachelder when he suggested that, even though Don wasn’t around, that I should do the photo anyway. Now, not being near a pool, I thought “what better place to look like a poster boy that in front of the 10th anniversary CineVegas poster?” Remember, never said I was mature, but I and Ben sure make gorgeous male models…

The money shot, however, is this spin on the infamous Janet Jackson cover from oh so many years ago…

Anyway, moving on…

Tonight was the 2008 CineVegas Honoree Awards Ceremony and Reception at the Planet Hollywood pool (the very pool where the idea for the above pictures came from, which means I made a pretty tight segue, if I do say so myself). I found myself in an amazing spot for photos of the event, and now present to you the winners in all their glory. Oh, and if the photos seem like they’ve been framed in a very CineVegas-centric way, I was going for a consistent feel and wanted to make sure I got the fest in there too.

Robert Duvall presented James Caan with the Las Vegas Icon Award.

Don Cheadle got a Half-Life Award…

…as did Rosario Dawson…

…Viggo Mortensen…

…and Sam Rockwell.

And Anjelica Huston closed out the ceremony as she accepted her Marquee Award.

Now, first and foremost, I am a fan of cinema and… being in the same air space as Anjelica Huston, James Caan, Dennis Hopper and Robert Duvall had me running all their classic films over and over in my head. Add Cheadle, Mortensen, Rockwell and Dawson into that crew and it just blows my mind. All deserving of the accolades they’ve been afforded in their careers, and I feel honored that I even get to stand on the same pool deck. Amazing.

After the ceremony, the event slowly wound down. Many folks bolted for the afterparty back at the Palms, but a few of us stuck around, opting to sit by the pool for a bit before deciding whether to call it a night or not.

I asked James Faust to give me his most serious face, and this is what I got. Honestly, it’s pretty serious.

Even though the evening ended after we were kicked out of the pool area, and James, Jamie, Jeff, Jerry, Childress and I instead spent our remaining minutes together at Planet Dailies eating some late-night grub, I like to think that the following picture is a solid capper to the blog entries. I may have one more, a photo gallery with all the pics that were good but that I didn’t really get into any of the other entries, but this is the last major play-by-day entry. Goodnight, CineVegas, see you next year… unless those half-naked male model pics get me kicked out of the festival, in which case I can only apologize for my beauty. Sometimes, it’s just too much for people to handle…

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  1. Jeremy Knox says:

    Mark, you one crazy and awesome mutha. I’ve never been more proud to be working for FT as I am now. Great writing too!

  2. Mark Bell says:

    I’d go so far as to say that we shouldn’t see any FT personality with their shirt off. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, just that it shouldn’t happen…

  3. Pete says:

    This year’s CineVegas has made one thing abundantly clear: the only FT personality who should ever be photographed with their shirt off is Ron Wells.

  4. Nathan says:

    It’s wonderful that Sam Rockwell received a Half-Life Award. I thouroughly enjoyed his performances in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and “Matchstick Men”.

  5. Don Lewis says:

    How dare you let some other man abscond with our pose!!!!

    Did you tell Rosario “congrats” from me? And by congrats I mean…..

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