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LAFF 2005.2: July in June

LAFF 2005.2: July in June

On Tuesday, I finally caught Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know after months of trying. I missed it at Sundance, didn’t go to Cannes, and have been dying to catch it all along. Miranda July has quite a cult following in Austin, thanks to her long association with the Cinematexas International Shorts Film Festival. So, I’m familiar with her and her work, and this new feature did not disappoint. It’s just plain brilliant.

July’s film is a bittersweet meditation on community, communication, and the word “forever.” The film is playing the Los Angeles Film Festival, though it is currently open in New York and will open in L.A. on Friday. Run, see it, and discover what will probably end up as one of the best American films of 2005. IFC Films should have quite an arthouse sensation on their hands.

Speaking of IFC, I had a great lunch meeting with Lisa and Lauren from IFC TV, at Maple Drive. Then, I found myself in the Festival Media Center, recruited by FIND’s Edward Stencel to play host for a segment on FesTV (LAFF’s official television coverage). I’m checking my email when he sees me and says, “Hey, Matt, I’ve got a great idea.” Turns out he was about to interview John Pierson on camera and thought I might be better suited for the job. “Sure, why not?”

A little while later, a group of us met at Sushi Dan’s to watch the Spurs get toasted by the Pistons in Game 6 (better luck Thursday night, Spurs). And then, it was off to more festival activity. Here are some “mPOP” pics:

(Chilean filmmaker Nicolas Lopez mugs for the camera outside the Sunset 5. Lopez’s entertaining feature, Promedio Rojo, is screening at LAFF following a sensational U.S. Premiere at SXSW in March. And, actually, LAFF’s Rich Raddon helped bring the film’s U.S. Premiere to us in the first place, knowing it would hit hard in Austin. He was absolutely correct. Word is, Nicolas demonstrated proper sexual techniques during his Q&A at LAFF, to a stunned audience.)

(Who’s not a member of the “Josh Braun Fan Club?” Josh gets sandwiched by filmmakers Margaret Brown, left, and Ti West, right. Margaret’s documentary, Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt screens later this week at the festival and opens in December. Ti’s film, The Roost, was recently acquired by Vitagraph and Showtime, with Josh Braun serving as one of the reps.)

(Hanging at the party for the Centerpiece Premiere, Nine Lives, is indieWIRE‘s Brian Brooks and fest publicist superstar Jenny Chikes. The party, at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences on Wilshire, was co-hosted by Magnolia Pictures.)

(The Festival Consulting Group’s Mitch Levine and Mark Bell of Film Threat chill out in the Target Red Room late-night. The lounge is now open later, which is great news for those of us who like to sample Absolut products at an open bar.)

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