Fantastic Fest

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A double helping of Nachos...

I'm sitting in the Salt Lake City airport still reeling from the maelstrom that was VIVA LA KARAOKE, the party we co-hosted celebrating the Sundance debut of Nacho Vigalondo's TIMECRIMES.

On Friday, January 18, within the usually tranquil confines of a north Park City condo development, 300 Sundance attendees partied with a fury until nearly 5 AM. Alamo executive chef John Bullington and I flew out from Austin at 6:30 AM, John with a suitcase full of cheese, knives and pots, me with a suitcases full of scotch, fog machines and 6000 karaoke hits.

We arrived at the condo at 1 PM; met our partners in crime, Jeff, Matt and Arianna from Magnolia who pitched in and helped ready the condo for the upcoming frenzy. We set up the disco lights, karaoke machine and fog, while John started prepping the hand-made chips, roasted ducks and grilled shrimp and crab.

By 10:30 PM, the stream of taxis were starting to arrive, but mayhem didn't really ensue until the incomparable Nacho Vigalondo arrived on the scene with his supercharged Spanish posse. He was clearly energized; coming straight from an amazing reception to his 1st Sundance screening which was just on the heels of the American remake rights sale of Timecrimes to United Artists (with a rumor of Tom Cruise to play the lead).

A mere 15 minutes into the party, Nacho had found the controls of the fog machine and did not let go for the entire duration of his first time at the mic. As if on cue, during the last refrain, the house smoke detectors were activated and the fire trucks arrived 10 minutes later.

For the bulk of the party, John was trapped in the kitchen furiously pounding out nachos and opening beers (Stella Artois is not a twist-off, and the house only had one bottle opener). I was similarly trapped behind the karaoke console. At about 2:30 AM, John said "screw it" and switched from hand-crafted individual nachos to the giant nacho pile, thus giving him a chance to join the party.

20 cases of beer, a case of scotch, 50 pounds of nachos, one split lip and about 100 karaoke songs later, we all finally collapsed at about 5 AM, some 24 hours since boarding the plane to Utah.

Next stop on the Fantastic Fest world Karaoke Tour: we're teaming up with the Film Fest Mafia to produce "Ich bin immer noch ein Berliner," AKA I am still a jelly doughnut: the Americans return to Sing. Details can be found on the Fantastic Fest Facebook Group.

You can also check out a full photo album from the party there, including some very odd photographs of Nacho and my stomach.

Thanks to Stella Artois, Dewar's Scotch, Magnolia Pictures, the Austin Chronicle's Dan Hardick for the karaoke gear, John Bullington for the nachos, and especially Nacho for being the inspiration for it all.

Links from the Fantastic Fest/Magnolia party:

Austin 360 Coverage
Cinematical Coverage
Austin American Statesman Coverage
Indiewire coverage


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