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Karlie Tipton, Associate Editor
Here in the Center: Karlie’s deadCENTER Film Festival Preview 2016
By Karlie Tipton
June 9, 2016
The deadCENTER Film Festival is going on its sixteenth year, but in 2016, I will be attending for the very first time. When I looked through the guidebook, I was about as overwhelmed as I was the first time I read through a college course catalog. There are so many amazing opportunities—classes, panels, luncheons, not to mention all the film shorts and features—that it took many, many hours to decide what I have to do and see. The five movies below are at the top of my list.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
It’s hard to decide why I’m most excited to watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a quirky tale about a thirteen-year-old boy who gets lost in the wilderness with his curmudgeonly foster “uncle.” Perhaps it’s because I loved writer/director Taiki Waititi’s last movie—a vampire mockumentary called What We Do in the Shadows—so much that it was the first film I’ve watched more than once in five years. It could also be the fact that ever since I saw Jurassic Park in 1993, I wanted Sam Neill to be my dad (I’ve even had dreams to that effect). The film’s beautiful New Zealand setting probably plays a role too. Thursday, June 9 at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 11 at 8:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Unlocking the Cage
There are very few issues more important to me than animal rights. I believe—or at the very least hope—in the coming centuries, humans will look back on our treatment of other species as barbaric and archaic. The documentary Unlocking the Cage, about nonhuman rights lawyer Steven Wise and his work to defend four chimpanzees in New York, proves that at least some contemporary individuals think of animals as more than objects to be used for whatever cruel purpose we see fit. Saturday, June 11 at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 at 12:15 p.m.at Harkins Theater in Bricktown.
As a woman working in a typically male-dominated field, I always cheer for women who operate in a similar environment, especially when they do it as well as writer/director Julia Hart. At this year’s SXSW festival, Hart’s second film, Miss Stevens, won the Special Jury Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. It’s hard to argue with such rave reviews. Also, as a twentysomething trying to figure out this whole growing up thing, I can appreciate the coming-of-age-even-though-you’re-already-of-age theme. Friday, June 10 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 at 5:45 p.m. at Harkins Theater in Bricktown.
Black Mountain Poets
Three of my great loves converge in Black Mountain Poets: British humor, the beautiful Scottish countryside, and Downtown Abbey’s charming Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen). The plot—a pair of con-artist sisters pretending to be famous poets while running from the cops—sounds like a lot of fun. Also, poetry! Friday, June 10 at 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 11 at 5:00 p.m. at Harkins Theater in Bricktown.
Command and Control
Eric Schlosser’s first two books, Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, were fascinating examples of the power of great reporting. His 2009 novel, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, was nominated for a 2014 Pulitzer Prize. The documentary based on Schlosser’s 2013 book, also called Command and Control, looks like a truer cinematic adaptation than the disappointing Fast Food Nation. Saturday, June 11 at 12:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 at 6:45 p.m. at Harkins Theater in Bricktown.
Online pass registration is closed, but you can still buy tickets at each venue twenty minutes before the film starts. You can also follow Oklahoma Today on Facebook and Instagram throughout the festival.