The inaugural Anaheim International Film Festival opened Wednesday night at GardenWalk with five movie programs, a lauded UK director with a gift for gab, creepy Knott's Berry Farm Halloween Haunt extras, incredibly tall waifs gliding across the red carpet in incredibly high heels and a packed-in-like-sardines after-party flowing with red wine, pupus in cups and the stylings of an Orange County buzz band.
Because your intrepid reporter could not be in five theaters in the sheek UltraStar Cinemas space at once, the only film screened on night one was English directorJonathan Lynn
's delightful black comedyWild Target
, which starsBill Nighy
, two of thePirates of the Caribbean
flicks) as a conflicted assassin who falls for his latest target, a sexy conwoman played byEmily Blunt
(The Devil Wears Prada
,The Young Victoria
Leading the talented cast of supporting players is Rupert Grint, who breaks out of his Ron Weasley role in the Harry Potter franchise by playing a bloke shown nude and smoking blunts. Rupert Everett from My Best Friend's Wedding and the voice of Prince Charming in the Shrek films, Eileen Atkins from Gosford Park, Cold Mountain and Robin Hood and especially Martin Freeman from the original British television version of The Office also turn memorable support.
Sadly, sound glitches marred this opening night screening but that did not stop the polite and patient audience from being thoroughly entertained by another winning film for the director ofMy Cousin Vinny
Patience, politeness and butt numbness were put to the test for those who stuck out the post-screening Q&A with Lynn, who gave long-winded answers to the crowd's queries. He said his Wild Target cast, Lucinda Coxon's screenplay and Pierre Salvadori's original script were the most important ingredients in creating what should be a hit. Keep in mind that the Man of the Hour's comedy directing credits include such misses as Clue, Sgt. Bilko and The Whole Nine Yards.
- It's About Time: The inaugural Anaheim International Film Festival will give your eyeflaps a workout
Matt Bolish, the festival's programming director, informed the crowd that Wild Target screens again Saturday and to check anaheimfilm.org for the showtime. Bolish also noted Lynn will receive the AIFF's first director's award that night at the Disney resort.
Here's the Wild Target trailer:
Other UltraStar theaters showed Alexandra Codina's touching documentary Monica & David, Mamoru Hosoda's much buzzed anime Summer Wars, the U.S. premiere of David Bradbury's surftacular Going Vertical: The Shortboard Revolution, a special presentation of the late John Hughes' Brat Pack classic Sixteen Candles and a shorts program that included Joshua and Rebekah Weigel's Butterfly Circus; Max Lang and Jakob Schuh's The Gruffalo; Iram Haq's Little Miss Eyeflap; Natalia Mirzoyan's My Childhood Mystery Tree; Lilli Birdsell's Once Upon a Crime; James Redford's Quality Time; Cordell Barker's Runaway; and Peter Meech's Winner Best Short Film.
Here's my pick for tonight:
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Wednesday night's after-party featured a performance by the Steelwells and the world premiere screening of their video for the song "El Capitan," which won best song honors at the 2010 OC Music Awards.
Did you know videos have trailers? They do! Lookie here: