It’s time once more for DeadCenter, the state’s biggest and highest profile film festival, June 6-9 in Oklahoma City.
The DeadCenter Film Festival has such a great vibe, with many parties and extra events, that even friends who don’t love film as much as you do want to come along and bask in the atmosphere. While they’re there, you can convince them to catch some quality cinema, ranging from features to shorts.
The schedule is not out as of this writing, but every year the festival supplies a high-quality slate of independent films.
Recommendations for legitimately enjoyable films usually fill this space, but sometimes there’s pleasure in throwing out bad movies because, in the right setting, these can be just as enjoyable. So grab some snarky friends, get a copy of the new Shout! Factory Blu-ray release of the Village People’s 1980 flop Can’t Stop the Music and have an excellent time.
An origin story by way of a bad community-theater musical, the film tells a heavily fictionalized account of everyone’s favorite disco act composed of men dressed in outrageous costumes. As you savor the crispness of the Blu-ray’s presentation of the film’s cut-rate cinematography, you’ll be blown away by the musical numbers, especially “I Love You to Death” – the stuff nightmares are made of. You wouldn’t want to live in this film’s world, but, like the YMCA, it’s fun to stay for a while.
In high gear, blockbuster season can be a bit disorienting, especially when one looks around and sees the high volume of remakes (Shaft), reboots (Men in Black: International) and superhero franchises (Dark Phoenix). However, one unoriginal property this month, Toy Story 4, has possibilities.
Sure, there’s concern about where the series goes after the devastating final scene of Toy Story 3, recent turmoil within Pixar and a slight downtick in film quality. One wonders whether this film can live up to its predecessors. But the addition of Keanu Reeves and Tony Hale to an already stellar voice lineup means, at the very least, that Toy Story 4 should have plenty of laughs.
For decidedly different humor, check out The Dead Don’t Die, a dark zombie comedy from, of all people, Jim Jarmusch, the king of quirky American indie film. Having tackled Westerns (Dead Man), martial arts (Ghost Dog) and vampires (Only Lovers Left Alive), Jarmusch turns his attention to the walking dead. His quiet, understated style seems an odd fit with the zombie penchant for excess, but he’s one of the most gifted filmmakers alive, and frequent collaborators like Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and RZA are onboard to keep the film lively.