If you'd driven by the Texas Theatre oh, 'bout an hour ago, you'd have seen this scene -- the great Harry Shearer standing out on W. Jefferson, bracketed by Jason Reimer on the left and Barak Epstein. Random, right? Not really: Shearer was at The Thin Line Film Fest in Denton last night for a rare local screening of his post-Katrina New Orleans doc The Big Uneasy. Turns out, it's opening in Dallas on March 11 -- at, where else, the Texas Theatre.
Epstein tells Unfair Park he and Reimer asked Derek Smalls to stop by the theater to film some promos in advance of the opening; clearly, he was only too happy to oblige. Shearer's on his way to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at this moment -- London's calling. He may phone in shortly. Depends how airport security goes. If memory serves, he's had issues in the past.
Update at 3:35 p.m.: Shearer just called -- while he was driving past the Observer building, no less. And, indeed, he says visiting the Texas was a real thrill: "I loved sitting in Lee Harvey Oswald's seat. I sent a photo of me in that seat to a friend who's a Kennedy assassination buff, and he sent me back a note that said, 'I've got an erection.'"
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We're scheduled to speak again closer to the opening of The Big Uneasy, but he did say last night's screening went very well -- for one reason in particular. "I got to meet a few folks from Dallas involved in issues related to the [Trinity River] levees and the idea of building a toll road in the floodway," he says. "One of the points of the movie is that it's not just New Orleans that has issues with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- this isn't a local issue, but a national one."