I always thought of Las Vegas is a cool place to visit for about 24 hours, after which it starts to get old fast. But then along came the uptown, reconfigured, Trevor Groth-approved Cinevegas Film Festival and I started to amend that view. Seeing choice movies (some fresh out of the gate) and attending parties with fairly hot women every night makes it all go down easier.
There’s still something over-electrified and soul-frying about that town, and the only thing I used to really love about the casinos — the loud metallic clatter of silver dollars falling into the tray of the big slot machines — is gone now. And Vegas is horrible for walking anywhere, and the bus service is slow as snails. But Cinevegas (June 6th to 16th) is a better-than-okay festival for the most part, and sometimes a pretty good one. And then there’s hanging with Las Vegas Review Journal critic Carol Cling, which is always time well spent.
Steven Soderbergh‘s Ocean’s 13 (which I’ll be seeing in Cannes in about a week and a half, if not sooner) and John Dahl‘s You Kill Me are the opening night and closing night attractions.
√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúCineVegas is a celebration of artists who lay it all on the line, who aren√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t afraid to shatter conventions and defy expectation,” Groth says in the BWR press release. “From our world premieres of American independents and new Mexican films, which both consist of brave works by predominantly first and second-time filmmakers, the festival is a goldmine of talent waiting to be discovered.√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù
The √ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúJackpot Premieres√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù are Robert Logevall√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s All God√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s Children Can Dance (world premiere), with Joan Chen; the Peter Spears’ comedy Careless (world premiere), starring Colin Hanks, Fran Kranz, Rachel Blanchard and Tony Shalhoub; Choose Connor (world premiere), a political drama starring Steven Weber and Alex Linz, directed by Luke Eberl; The Fifth Patient (world premiere); The Living Wake (world premiere) starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mike O√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢Connell in a dark comedy from director Sol Tryon…I’ll get into the rest down the road.
Cinevegas used to pretty much stick with its own premieres, but this year it has two new sections — “Diamond Discoveries√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù (previously premiered new films available for U.S. distribution) and √ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúSure Bets√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù (upcoming films with U.S. distribution). A chance, in other words, to catch up with films one might have missed at other festivals or at regular pre-release screenings. Good move.