The Dallas International Film Festival, which kicks off tonight with its gala to-do at the Winspear Opera House featuring Elmo and Ann-Margret, features no small amount of must-sees and can't-misses, among them Clay Liford's homegrown WUSS, Michael Sheen and Maria Bello in Beautiful Boy, Morgan Spurlock's product-placement doc The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and what fest artistic director James Faust refers to as "Fargo but further north," Small Town Murder Songs. And I see that the dark, even vaguely sweet comedy Lucky -- which world-premieres tomorrow and stars Ann-Margret and former Good Guy Colin Hanks as a lottery winner and serial killer -- was picked up for distribution only today, which means it comes to Dallas the way most films hope to leave film festivals.
And we'll get to some of those over the course of the fest's run, which ends April 10. But while most of those screenings are rush-only, meaning they're close to sold out, I see tickets remain at the low, low price of $10 for Eric Hueber's Rainbows End -- a sanguine, years-in-the-making doc-ish in which Hueber (as "The Drummer") loads up his shot-to-shit bus and heads from Nacogdoches to California with a bus full of oddballs and eccentrics in search of fame, fortune, escape, relief and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. Accompanying them: two roosters who won't shut the eff up.
The film premiered at the Austin Film Festival last October, where it was warmly received. And you can read the synopsis here, and there's a nice interview with the director here, but neither do do justice to the wit and warmth that lie beneath the crackpot surface of a film that initially feels like a work of fiction -- or "faction," at least, to borrow a term from an ad man in Spurlock's doc. I watched it once, then immediately watched it again. You can too: Rainbows End premieres tomorrow at 10 p.m. at the Magnolia, with a second screening scheduled at noon Sunday. Get on the bus. Two trailers follow, for those in further need of convincing.
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