The directorial stars shined bright as Houston film and art lovers celebrated the opening night of the 10th annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts. One of Houston’s favorite directing sons, Academy Award-nominee, Richard Linklater was on hand to party with his fellow filmmakers and ring in five days of screening some of the most innovative films focused on visual, performing, and literary arts.
Before the opening night special screening, the cinephile and art-loving guests gathered in the MFAH’s Pre-Columbian Gallery to mingle with some of the filmmakers and the seemly mild-mannered but quite extraordinary documentary subjects including Steve Young, Emmy-nominated staff writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. Young’s unusual record collection of corporate musical soundtracks became the focus of the award-winning documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway.
After an introduction from Houston Cinema Arts Society board chair Franci Neely and artistic director Richard Herskowitz, the highlight of the evening was the screening of the hilarious yet surprisingly heartfelt Bathtubs. The film chronicles Young’s journey into the beautifully bizarre world of industrial musical, mega musical shows from the 1950-70s created solely for corporate conventions and sales meetings. In his search for these lost records, Young finds creativity and art in the strangest circumstance.
After a standing-ovation from the Brown Auditorium audience at the film’s end, MFAH film curator Marian Luntz moderated a Q&A with Young, director Dava Whisenant, producer Amanda Spain, and writer/producer Ozzy Inguanzo.
The celebration continued with an after-party in the MFAH Cullinan Hall. Young’s fellow industrial musical record collector and Germs and Ariel Pink drummer, Don Bolles commanded the turntables to DJ a selection of the greatest never-been-hits from the industrial musical songbook. Though the tunes no doubt left some party-goers wonderfully dazed and confused, the evening set the stage for a tremendous lineup of films yet to experience at this year’s HCAF.
Seen walking the red carpet were Jill Hartz, Brandon Weinbrenner and Mitchell Greco, Bob and Gracie Cavnar, Katie Cokinos, Alice Gordon, Giorgio Angelini and Maggie Burns Angelini, Ernie Manouse and Walt Zipprian, Stacey Steers, Maria Giese, Michelle Memran, Sharon Adams, Kim Voynar, Dan Miller, Ann Davis Vaughan and Richard Vaughan, Alecia Harris, Fred Baldwin, and Wendy Watriss.