Film and TV

With Friday Night's Stop At Lola's, Kris Kristofferson Helped the Lone Star Film Festival Honor an Old Friend

Even knowing the award would carry his good friend's name for years to come, it wasn't easy for Kris Kristofferson to stand onstage at Lola's Saloon Friday night and say too much after accepting the Lone Star International Film Festival's first Stephen Bruton Award.

Bruton, who died in May, spent nearly 40 years playing guitar with Kristofferson, and along with a solo career, worked with T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello and others. His film career included roles in bars and onstage -- often opposite Kristofferson -- and in the Alamo.

In the future, the film festival in Fort Worth, in its third running now, will give the Bruton award to artists whose careers have spanned film and music. This year's festival also included, on Friday night, a director's cut of Blood Simple, from which the Coen Brothers trimmed three minutes; and on Saturday night, The Messenger, with Army officer Woody Harrelson on casualty notification duty. The festival wraps today, with a schedule including screenings of the festival's best documentary and narrative film picks.

Just six months after Bruton succumbed to throat cancer, with his mother Kathleen Bruton there to give Kristofferson the award in the dark basement bar, it was a poignant moment.

Kristofferson, dressed all in black, talked about their friendship and gave brief glimpses of the decades they'd spent onstage together, pausing often to catch himself or step back and run his hand through his hair.

"I'm gonna miss him. But not for too long, because I'm gonna follow him," he said, pausing as the audience registered their complaints, finally adding, "I gotta get out of here. I'm not in great control right now."

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Patrick Michels
Contact: Patrick Michels