CineVegas Recap: Day 4

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
June 14th, 2009

Picture 3
The events of Day 4 at CineVegas feels like something I might have written if I was writing a short about a young journalist covering a film festival in Las Vegas and it was his first time in the city, like a little innocent, wild squirrel from the forest thrown into an overwhelming, huge, fun, tree-filled neighborhood. That's the only way I know how to describe the events of day 4 for you good people.

Read on to hear about this all too memorable day in my young life that included interviews with Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard for HUMPDAY, Kyle Patrick Alvarez and Brian Geraghty for EASIER WITH PRACTICE, Ben Steinbauer for WINNEBAGO MAN, Danny Trejo and the man, the myth, the legend Dennis Hopper. Oh and then if meeting and talking to one legend in one day wasn't enough, make it two by adding James Caan to this equation of awesomeness.

This day was jam-packed with interviews, if you did not already get that vibe from the laundry list above. They were all so great and memorable for their own reasons, which you will soon see as the video starts pouring out upon my return. The one I really want to share with you guys was my interview with Mr. Hopper. The man could not be nicer and more willing to just sit and talk about film. This interview was so special to me on multiple levels, the first being the obvious legendary status Mr. Hopper holds. The second being that the man was in both GIANT and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, acting right along side James Dean. Not only have these two films played a big part and inspiration in my life, but James Dean himself has had an equal presence of inspiration for me. Mr. Hopper was more than willing to talk about his experiences on these films and what it was like being friends with Dean, even going so far as to getting choked up at one point. It was unreal. Truly unreal. I left with the thought that I should be always be grateful for the fact that I'm getting to do exactly what I want with something I love, that being film. I should be grateful for that because I've been lucky enough to have it take me to some pretty incredible places to experience some pretty incredible things. One of those was the sheer amazing opportunity to talk to someone like Dennis Hopper, a true sweetheart of a man and a genuinely great actor.

Then the sun went down and the moon came up and you know what happens then...after-parties initiated. It went down poolside at the Mandalay Bay hotel, where the festival was screening a very special outdoor presentation of the famous Beatles' film YELLOW SUBMARINE. Then the party moved back over the to The Palms, where it got even swankier in the high-rise bowling alley suite. I was in good company, hanging with some of my new friends and some old ones. I can't say this enough, but Las Vegas knows how to throw their film festivals. The level of swank increases more and more.

I'm imagining the levels will go to 11 tomorrow night as the festival comes to a close with honoring Jon Voight, Willem Dafoe, a screening of WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, and the closing night party at the Playboy Club. This town has not chewed me up and spit me out just yet, but I think if I stay any longer it might!

FAVORITE MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: When I was then officially knighted by (500) DAYS OF SUMMER writer Michael Weber. My knight title..."Sir 501" meaning that I am the 501st day of summer. Yes, there's video. Yes, it is coming soon.

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  • laurenlester

    James! It sounds like you're having such a great time!! I'm so excited for you! I can't believe you compared yourself to a squirrel though, hahahaha.
    ps. If you get to meet Willem Dafoe I don't think I can speak to you anymore.

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