It goes in cycles, our relationship with the USA Film Festival; we hate to love it, it loves to hate us, and on and on it goes to the point where we barely even cover a once-major cultural event. It has something to do with our pestering the fest organizers to show movies other than product that's been wearing out on the festival circuit; we plead because we love and want only for the USA Film Festival to be as glorious and glamorous as it's been in the past. We cheer its potential and champion its promise; no need to let interlopers like the Asian fest and Michael Cain's Deep Ellum wingding steal its 36-year-old boom, dang it. This year's offering seems to be a step in the right direction: There are plenty of biggish names (Andy Garcia, Richard E. Grant, Juliette Lewis, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh) and plenty of good movies (Sundance faves Quinceanera and Wordplay, among them) on the sked; and high among the unseen and anticipated offerings is The Great New Wonderful, the somber September 11 film from, you'd better believe it, Dude, Where's My Car? director Danny Leiner. And the Highland Parkers who make up the USAFF's base will thrill at being among the first to see movies at the AMC NorthPark 15, which doesn't officially open till May 5. So good luck, USA Film Festival. We'll miss you this yeargoing to the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. Whoops. The festival runs Friday through May 4. Visit usafilmfestival.com.
April 28-May 4