Wednesday, February 27, 2008

AFI Dallas/Texas Frightmare Weekend 40th Anniversary Tour Kick-off

Last week, Texas Frightmare Weekend and AFI Dallas kicked off the Night of the Living Dead 40th Anniversary Tour in grand style. The AFI Dallas screening of the film at the beautiful Inwood Theater included a thrilling Oscar-type red carpet entrance, papparazzi and interviews. In attendance were George A. Romero, John Russo, Russ Streiner, Judy O'Dea, Bill Hinzman, George Kosana and myself. After shivering on the red carpet (Dallas was a lot colder than I'd anticipated) we stepped into the sold-out theater to introductions by the AFI Dallas representative, TFW's Loyd Cryer and Malcolm McDowell.

The audience for the evening included, among others, horror movie royalty Dee Wallace Stone, Kristina Klebe, Harvey Stephens, Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Tom Atkins, Scott Reiniger, Courtney Gains, Eugene Clark, Joe Pilato, Pedro Arce and Ken Foree.

The film itself was one of the scratchy old prints one would have viewed through fogged-up car windows at a drive-in. As much as I love Elite's cleaned up Millennium Edition DVD, a beat up print makes for a far more authentic theater experience; the scratches and missing frames received rave reviews from the audience. We were whisked away during the film to be interviewed by a reporter from Hollywood Life magazine. Immediately following the movie, AFI Dallas presented each of us with a framed certificate to commemorate the 40th anniversary screening of Night of the Living Dead. Malcolm McDowell then hosted a very brief Q&A during which George told a strange story about an owl and an ill-mannered monkey. It was appropriately surreal.

The reception afterwards was very nice, and surprisingly sedate; everyone was dressed up and on their best behavior (the monkey wasn't there). I cut out fairly early and went to bed.

Texas Frightmare Weekend itself was a blast, of course, and very well organized. I saw old friends and made some new ones. It was wonderful reuniting with Judy O'Dea, and I look forward to spending more time with her throughout the rest of this year, and our tour. She's very smart, extremely insightful, and she likes martinis. She is the perfect traveling companion.

This was my first trip to Texas (since I was two years old) and I definitely want to go back again. I just hope it'll be warmer next time!

Kudos and many thanks to everyone at AFI Dallas and Texas Frightmare Weekend for making our inaugural event so perfect and so memorable!

Click here to see my photos of TFW.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chihuly at Phipps: Gardens and Glass

This is the last week of the Dale Chihuly Gardens and Glass exhibit at Phipps Conservatory. It's been around since last summer, but events, large and small, conspired to keep me from seeing it. I finally saw it last night, and I'm so glad I finally did! It is breathtaking! I only wish it would stick around a little longer so I could see it again, but it's already been extended a couple of times.

The Gardens and Glass show really is magical; descriptions, and even photos, don't really do it justice. I took a lot of pictures, but my camera ran out of memory space a little over halfway through the show! Wah! The photos I have can be seen here. Enjoy!

Reservations are required for this show. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, jump online and buy your tickets at the Phipps Conservatory website. If you're near Pittsburgh, it's well worth the trip here. If you haven't already experienced Gardens and Glass, do yourself a favor and see it before it leaves forever. You will not regret it!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Obama Video

This video arrived in an e-mail from the Obama campaign this evening, just in time to inspire voters in tomorrow's primary elections. The Pennsylvania primary isn't until April, but I'm already inspired by Barack. Here's something that may help get others motivated to vote for him. Enjoy! (And VOTE!)