It Was A Sight to Be Seen
Hosted by The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA), The 9th Annual Flatland Film Festival opened with a bang on Thursday, Oct. 17 thanks to Chris Eska’s film, “The Retrieval.” Set in the height of the Civil War, the audience was immediately introduced to a young man named Will. Will and his not-so-friendly accomplice Marcus were sent north by a group of bounty hunters in search of a man named Nate. Without giving too much away, Will and Nate became close, and although Will never spoke of it, Nate quickly became a father figure to the young and naive boy. As the plot thickened, the story line didn’t disappoint.
The film’s build up to the rising action was intense, and the climax delivered a striking blow. As the credits rolled, the theatre erupted in applause and left the audience yearning for more. As for how the story ended, you’ll just have to see it for yourself.
And then, Friday rolled around. In its second show in Lubbock in less than a year, it was no surprise that the festival packed the Icehouse Theatre for “Metropolis Elektro.” The musicians scored the 1920s silent film to perfection. Like a good wine, the harmony created by the music and the film got better with every scene. You could almost taste every note, every strike of the piano or the strum of the electric guitar. It was magical!
There was a DJ, a chorus, a handful of soloists and even a rapper who had the audience shouting, “Metropolis! Metropolis! Metropolis!” I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced anything like that before. Although it last just under three hours, I would have had no clue if I hadn’t looked at my watch. One by one, the crowd stood and gave the performers a well-deserved standing ovation.
Having purchased the all-access pass, I was able to attend all of the pre- and post-event festivities, which I highly recommend. The food and drinks were awesome, and so is rubbing elbows with the directors. When was the last time you were able to talk to the director of the film less than 10 minutes after you saw their name roll through the credits? Need I mention the rest of the fans? Film nerds are just as cool as you think they are and more. I wasn’t trying to act like I was a part of the club, but everyone that I encountered made me feel welcome and that in itself was something special.
In a nutshell, the festival is more than just a collection of great films. It’s a chance for visitors to engage and insert themselves into a growing community that understands the importance of film, art, music and culture. I may have passed this event before, but I’ll never make that same mistake again. We’ll see you next year!