I have no business being invited to elaborate private parties. I am by nature socially awkward, and I drink hard – a bad combo (especially for you, if you are within earshot or, after a certain point, haymaker-distance of me).
But last weekend, I attended two private parties, both thrown by the Lone Star International Film Festival, Fort Worth’s inaugural foray into the wild wide world of film festivals. What, pray tell, you ask, is a film festival? I am not entirely sure, but if it is anything like a music festival – of which I’ve been to a couple – it involves industry seminars moderated by distinguished panelists, some videos, PowerPoint presentations, and live music performances, and rampant partying. Not sure how LSIFF fared in regard to the seminars and screenings. (Weekly contributor Cole Williams does. Read his column on pg. 24.) But based on the parties, LSIFF was a success. (For the record: The Weekly was the main media co-sponsor. No, I have not accepted any major bribes to speak glowingly of the event. Minor graft? I don’t know. You tell me.)
The event went from Wednesday through Sunday, and there were parties every night except Sunday. Each party had a sort of theme. The opening-night affair was at Bass Performance Hall’s McDavid Studio and featured a red carpet. Fort Worth native Bill “Chet” Paxton (Titanic, Apollo 13, Weird Science, Big Love) and a couple of other film stars with Texas roots and/or connections walked across it. I wasn’t there. On Thursday night, the party followed screenings of work by local filmmaker James Johnston and other indie auteurs and was aimed at hipsters. I didn’t go to that, either. But on Friday night, I was out, at the Longhorn Saloon in the Stockyards for the Jackass party. I have never watched the show and could not tell you whether or not any Jackasses were there, but the rather large club was full. Gold labels peeked out from behind just about everybody’s knuckles – apparently, nothing says, “I am in Fort Worth – dear God” like a bottle of Shiner. The staff was overwhelmed. I was forced to order several beers at a time. An indie-rock band from Austin played. I did not notice any dangerous stunts.