i wanted to take a quick break from the halloween festivities to tell you about something i saw at the austin film festival today. the film is called rainbows end (2010) and i was lucky enough to get to attend its world premiere this afternoon.
it was directed by eric hueber, also the drummer in the band being chronicled, and is a hugely entertaining mix of experimental narrative and outsider art documentary. it follows the story of a group of eccentric east texans all on a collision course with california for one reason or another. the band, country willie and the cosmic debris, is on the way there for a recording session at the behest of the legendary stardust cowboy and a west coast tour seems like the most logical thing to do to cover that ground. of course, they'll need an opening act. who better than peter the band? peter, a singer of questionable talent but undeniable nerve, wishes/thinks/lives as if it is perpetually 1978. you shouldn't undertake a trip like this without a guide and that's where audrey dean comes in. audrey dean is an amateur parapsychologist and baton twirler extraordinaire on his way to the los angeles gay and lesbian center to use their resources to "learn the internet". throw in a busdriver/mechanic who has wrangled his way onto the tour so he can take his prize roosters to hollywood to make it big in the movies and the troupe is complete.
here's a quick look.
ultimately, what this movie is is a love letter to everyone who is crazy/gutsy enough to take their shot, those oddballs and down-and-outers who create their own universes that we end up celebrating twenty years after they're gone once hipster record store clerks "discover" them. well, you don't have to wait. hueber's film allows you to celebrate them right now, so get out there and do it. austinites, you have one more chance to see it this week at the texas spirit theater on wednesday, 10.27.10, at 10 p.m. everyone else, keep an eye on the festival circuit or visit their website for updates.
the film is very funny, but it's no joke. the one thing that i hope doesn't get lost in all this is that it's not a put-on. it may be fashioned into a narrative and is clever and occasionally tongue in cheek but the biggest reason it's funny is because it's true. this is willie and company every day, cameras or no cameras. they just happen to be hilariously bent. it's also bittersweet, rewarding and a true labor of love. it took seven years to finish and its production history, with its many ups and downs, completely reflects the fact that everyone involved truly believes in the central tenet of the film - get out there and make your weird-ass dreams a reality.
if you'd like to see willie in the flesh, he is playing a set of his zombie tunes at our starlite cinema series halloween spook show. that link contains the lineup and a link to the facebook event page. feel free to drop by and get a dose of weirdness in person.
p.s. support your local filmmakers.