Friday, April 18, 2008

There will be blood amidst the lights in the wide open spaces

Marfa, situated way the hell out there in the high desert of Far West Texas, is arguably best known for its lights.

I saw the lights.

One night, during my excursions around the Davis Mountains and into Big Bend, I drove about nine miles east of Marfa on U.S. 67 -- the very same U.S. 67 that splits off from I-35E south of Dallas toward Midlothian., Cleburne, San Angelo and, eventually Marfa -- pulled over to the side of the road, cast my eyes toward the Chinati Mountains and there they were, dancing in the distance.

But my real affinity for Marfa is because James Dean hung out there while making his final motion picture, "Giant." Then, a half century after Dean as Jett Rink struck oil thereabouts, Marfa became the location for what turned out to be the two best movies of 2007, "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men."

I don't know if this new-found interest in Marfa as a filming location spurred this idea in some creative soul, but, for whatever the reason, Marfa is staging its own film festival next month. And the undeniable highlight of the festival will be the May 1 screening of "There Will Be Blood" on a giant outdoor screen that will be erected on the site of what's left of the set used for the town of New Boston in the film. Now that seems worth making the trip to Marfa.

The other highlight of the festival, at least in my estimation, will be the screening of the magnificent "Night of the Hunter," also known as the only film Charles Laughton ever directed, that will also be screened outdoors, on the Marfa Golf Course, which has the distinction of being the golf course located at an elevation higher than any other course in Texas.

The entire affair has a certain appeal, at least to me.

No comments: