Tonight at Fest, a Film That Really Does Blend Dallas With "International"

Back in November 2008 Patrick Michels and I schlepped out to Southfork Ranch for that clusterfudge of a Dallas reunion, for which thousands of people flew in from all over the world only to have their hearts broken and wallets emptied. And, still, most didn't mind at all -- just to be on hallowed ground, that was enough.

There was the man from Belgium who hosts a regular "Ewing barbecue," where old friends from college bring their kids to whom he recounts the story of the Ewings 'round the campfire -- like ancient myth. There was the couple from Scotland who spent thousands to fly in for two whole days. And the reporter from Sweden standing in line just to touch Larry Hagman's hat. And the old man from the former Soviet Union, who fell in love with the West the first time he saw Victoria Principal. And on and on.

Which is the very subject of a documentary screening at the Angelika tonight for the Dallas International Film Festival: Estonian filmmaker Jaak Kilmi's Disko ja tuumasõda -- otherwise known as Disco & Atomic War. The subject, from the fest's directory: "Using colorful archival footage, director Jaak Kilmi recalls childhood memories in Soviet-controlled Tallinn, Estonia, when his family followed clashes between J.R. and Sue Ellen on Dallas. Kilmi's father captured the signal from an American-built broadcasting tower. Thirty years later, Kilmi realizes he was on the front line of a media war that eventually aided in the collapse of the Soviet Union."

The screening's at 10:15 tonight. And tickets are available. Great success.

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