I’ve attended several “Butt-Numb-A-Thons” hosted by Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News. I was there the first few years of this 24-hour film fest, when it was a relatively small event with an occasional surprise sneak preview. It was quaint and fun when Harry would throw in a small treat like some upcoming, obscure sci-fi release like Pitch Black and an appearance by a then-obscure actor named Vin Diesel. Or, a special preview of Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, long before it was in theaters. But, otherwise, that was about it. And then, I skipped a year.
That year (2003) wound up being something special. How special? Return of the King with a surprise appearance by Peter Jackson… Oldboy, six months before it played Cannes… Mel Gibson popping by to present Passion of the Christ before it had any kind of distribution deal and became a punchline. After that year, I realized I probably should do my best not to skip it again anytime soon. So, I came back for last year’s event and I will be coming back for the 2005 edition, set to unravel on Saturday. Film geeks are coming in from all over the globe, to attend BNAT 7.
The anticipation is high, and the guesses of the secret lineup are long. The one film that is still unconfirmed but a pretty good bet, is Peter Jackson’s King Kong. This seems rather likely, not only because the film opens one week later, but because Harry has a history with both the original Kong film, and Peter Jackson himself. In fact, before Lord of the Rings, Knowles and Jackson first met over a bit of Kong memorabilia. So, what else? The Producers? Match Point? The New World? Sympathy for Lady Vengeance? And, what special guests will be making an appearance? By Sunday at noon, once the 24-hour fest ends, we’ll all know for sure.