It was 7:00am in the morning, Thursday, June 8. My trousers were clean, my bags packed and my kid, Pingu, was safe and sound at his babysitter. I was all set to head out to Oklahoma City for my long weekend at the deadCENTER Film Festival. I had never been to the OKC, so it was my excitement to check out a strange new place that kept me energized despite only having a measly two hour nap the night before. Plus, I started the festival a little early by watching a screener of one of the deadCENTER official selections, Sex Machine, a couple days before. Still buzzing from that movie’s sexy violence, I headed out to LAX charged for my adventures in Oklahoma. And after a brief flight into Denver for a three hour layover (and three pints of Stella Artois – the Hipster of Beers) followed by another brief flight, there I was, in the dead center of the country – hence the name of the festival.
After a long day of flying and drunken wandering through airports, I was in dire need of a cigarette. Fortunately when Beth, one of the amazing festival folks, picked me up from the airport, she informed me that it would be okay to smoke in her car as she would be joining me in lighting up. I pulled out my cigarettes and she pulled out a huge stogie. Yes, people in the OKC love smoking cigars. It was in this city that I had seen the most cigar smoking ever in one single weekend. Just a minor point of interest.
After a brief tour of the city, it was off to the IAO Gallery for my first movie of the festival. The event had actually already started the night before at an outdoor screening of “Stomp! Shout! Scream!” and screenings continued earlier this evening as I made my way into town. I missed what I heard is a great documentary on credit card debt called “Maxed Out.” Sorry to have missed it, however, my sights were set on a different fish all together.
The few weeks leading up to the festival, I had been receiving emails and MySpace messages from a film called “Ten ‘til Noon.” I had even received a birthday greeting on MySpace from the film. A birthday greeting from a movie? Strange, yes, but that’s the kind of weird bullshit that happens around here. Anyway, I had heard of this film previously and learned that it featured boobs and blowjobs. Being an enormous fan of both of these things, “Ten ‘til Noon” made my festival hit list and I had flown into town just in time to catch it.
Ten ‘til Noon
Boobs, blowjobs and a beer. Forget jetlag, I was spinning into another dimension. This humorous crime thriller opens with Larry, a wealthy computer nerd, waking up in his bed one fine morning at ten ‘til noon. Well, it would be fine if a well-dressed man and his sexy female assistant weren’t sitting across the room pointing a gun at him. In this room it’s all riddles and pleas for mercy. We’re not really sure why these people have been sent to kill Larry, we just know that they’re supposed to do it right at 12 noon. When the clock strikes 12, we’re taken to another location and back ten minutes. We are once again at ten ‘til noon. With this new setting and new pair of characters, Larry’s dilemma unfolds furthermore and we start to understand why someone wants him dead. This format continues until we’ve met a whole slate of crazy characters involved in this plot for nerd murder. “Ten ‘til Noon” moves along a lot smoother than one would think. This could’ve easily been a giant mess, but aiding filmmaker Scott Storm in keeping his ship together is a talented ensemble cast who compliment the sharp, witty script by writer Paul Osborne. You’re never too lost in trying to figure out why this poor guy is doomed and you’re always entertained. Talent coming in from all sides makes “Ten ‘til Noon” great movie watching. Of course, the boobs were magnificent and the b*****b scene highly amusing.
Fortunately it turns out that “Ten ‘til Noon” director Scott Storm and writer Paul Osborne are a couple of swell guys as we hung out well into the evening, jabbering at each other drunkenly at a cigar bar. Yes, there’s that cigar thing again. See, told ya. I actually have a couple other cigar related tales, but…some tales are better untold…
It was here that I also met the wonderful women that make deadCENTER happen – Cacky Poarch, Melissa Scaramucci, Kim Haywood and Rebecca McCauley, amongst many other great folks. Our few months of emailing back and forth in preparation for the festival had led to this very warm welcome to Oklahoma City. I was proud to be there, despite my head spinning from the all day drinking, the growing jetlag and my lack of sleep from the night previous. It was time for me to limp back to my hotel room to get some sleep.
The story continues in part two of TWO CIGARS, A HANGOVER AND THE TRUTH: DEADCENTER 2006>>>