Monday, November 15, 2010

Richard Reininger - Artois in Cullowhee and Durham

Had two great screenings the past few days. The drive from Clemson to Cullowhee was easily the best travel of the circuit so far. Into the mountains. The colors on the trees were amazing. Greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. Perfect time of year to be driving through the mountains. A load of colors that just don't exist in Texas, probably because Autumn doesn't exist in Texas. Really, it's a wonderful season. Were missing out. One thing struck me on the drive. I was in a valley, and i looked up to a nearby peak, to see a house. Didn't look too gaudy or anything, just a house on top of the mountain, with what I can only assume is the most spectacular view 360 degrees around. That would be living.

I arrived in Culllowhee shortly, and was amazed at the size of the campus. Like someone took a college and plopped it in a hole in the mountains. Really kinda surreal. Not even much of a town around it, just the campus. Really crazy. A bit creepy checking into the guest house. 4 bedrooms, 9 beds, 2 sitting rooms, and me. Then I madae the mistake of walking down the steps into the basement. Seen too many horror movies to take the basement lightly. Sprinted back up the stairs and made sure to lock the door. The screening was later that night, in a real cinema theater on campus. Stadiium seating and a 35 mm projector. Really cool to see that dropped into the mountains. After calibrating the projector myself ( you're welcome WCU), we started the screening. A smaller crowd than i had gotten used to, but a very enthused one to make up for it. Tons of great and excited questions after the screening. Then we all met outside the theater for a small reception featuring goat cheese. Delicious.

The next morning I headed out for Durham. A bit of a long drive, but took advantage to listen to the Life House radio play again. Good listen. I had planned on checking in and taking in a bit of the town, but ended up taking a nap instead. All this travel is a mite bit exhausting. I awoke in time to attend the pre screening reception and consume wine and goat cheese. I could get used to this. I was became a bit nervous as the screening drew closer. The small reception area had become packed with people, moreso than I had become accustomed to. Needless to say, when everyone was ushered into the screening room, it became clear that Duke had underestimated me and my silly little film. I counted somewhere in the neighborhood of 85-90 people, easily the most attended screening on tour. We did everything we could to accommodate everyone. Breaking fire code certainly. It took extra chairs, floor seating, and ultimately, yes, standing room only. The screening went over fantastic, and afterward we had my favorite q&a of the circuit. I had the perfect mixture of wine and coffee. I got in a few of the stories I normally skip during q&as due to length, but went for them anyway. Afterward while handing out buttons, someone told me Anthony Bourdain was in the audience. It's may be all hearsay, but he was certainly in town, speaking Raleigh the next day. Coincidence...maybe. The world may never know. Of course, that excitement propelled me to the Fed, and i drug Lauren, my host, and her friends Dominic and Margret along too. A quick drink turned into appetizers and an evening, and learning what happens in Mississippi, stays in Mississippi.

Off to Montgemery, AL for the next screening. Stay tuned!