True/False ’07 – it goes by so quickly…

After a 24-hour whirlwind food tour of St. Louis (frozen custard at Ted Drewes, gooey butter cakes at the Missouri Baking Company, toasted ravioli and the STL fave a Slinger at Courtesy Diner and the perfunctory search for real St. Louis ribs) and a visit with my guys from Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? I headed off to Columbia, MO for the 4th Annual True/False Film Festival. The fest isn’t joking around when they say they don’t tell people how far out they are. I’ll tell you. They’re a 2-hour drive from the St. Louis airport and a 3-hour drive from Kansas City. It’s not as bad as it sounds.

I  m not done slingin
Slinger is a must eat in STL.

The festival kicks off Thursday, but doesn’t really heat up until Friday. Overall I thought the programming this year was pretty great. Movies I’d missed on the circuit, new stuff and what are becoming their famous non-premieres. I can’t talk about those. And I can’t really remember what I can talk about or not.

March March
Give me a T! Give me an F!

Lunar landings are a hoax
This space man walks on concrete.

Fire dancers at Missouri Theatre
The March March concludes with fire in front of the Missouri Theatre.

Not a keeper
Brother’s Keeper doesn’t make it home to a dorm room.

Highlights for me include the short claymated doc about Swedish graffiti girls, Blue Karma Tiger, David Wilson watching Night Mail with live music from Gutbucket, daily breakfast at the Main Squeeze, a spirited panel “The Shock of the New” (see Docs That Inspire – Joel transcribed some of it!), and the best (only) parade I’ve seen at a film festival.

Gutbucket answers questions about their new score for classic Night Mail.

Co conspirators at work
Paul & David rile up the crowd.

And now a moment to talk about audiences in Columbia… They rock my socks! Standing ovations (The Devil Came on Horseback played to a packed house and everyone rose to their feet to salute Annie Sundberg), great question and answers (I thought David Kohn might upset the audience with his loose cursing, but they didn’t care), town pride (best place to see a film shot in Columbia!), love them! When Paul Sturtz calls it paradise this might be part of what he’s talking about. 2006 was my first T/F and the audiences came out for the big movies. We were thrilled that Homemade Hillbilly Jam was sold out in the 1200 seat Missouri Theatre. But this year, everything was sold out. 10:00 am screenings were full and industry is so incredibly outnumbered it’s like going to a real movie. I really get swept up in it and I think it’s so important to both the festival and just plain ole movie going experience.

I had a great time and despite the fact that I didn’t realize that Booche’s was world famous until Sunday (we’re closed, see you in church) when you can’t get a burger because like many Columbia businesses they’re not open, this festival will be a permanent date on my schedule for years to come. They treat filmmakers great, it’s got that right camp vibe and the festival co-conspirators David Wilson and Paul Sturtz give better intros for films than I have ever heard. I’m already looking forward to 2008 and it’s not just so I can finally get that Booche’s burger (the malt is supposed to be pretty good too).

My blogging buddies have talked up movies etc, etc, etc. See AJ Schnack, Agnes Varnum, Joel Heller and our Columbia Tribune man on the scene Pete Bland.

I feel like I’ve been away from home more than I’ve been home lately. I’ll be hitting the BBQ in Austin starting Sunday. Me and everyone else will be blogging from SXSW. Good movies abound!

T F camera on Broadway
Can you tell the day I had my camera?

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