Festival Notes: Waiting for ‘Twilight’

As LAFF heads into the homestretch, things are going on besides that big vampire movie

The Los Angeles Film Festival heads into the homestretch this weekend, with Thursday night’s “Twilight” premiere drawing the crowds of camping Twi-hards while cineastes steer clear of that Nokia Theatre madness and head for a varied slate of independent films and documentaries.

In recent days, those who’ve dropped by to catch festival offerings have included “The Hurt Locker” team of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, directors Brett Ratner, Curtis Hanson and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, actresses Lily Tomlin and Cheryl Hines, producer and former Academy president Sid Ganis, and “Crazy Heart” writer-director Scott Cooper. Waiting for Superman party

(Right: Cooper, Hanson and Ratner with LAFF director Rebecca Yeldman.  Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.)

The ZonePerfect live.create.lounge, meanwhile, has hosted performances by Joseph Arthur and Raining Jane, among others, along with an acoustic set from members of the pioneering local band Fishbone, the subject of the festival doc “Everyday Sunshine.”

Big events have included a screening of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman’,” followed by an after-party at the Grammy Museum at which musician John Legend performed; conversations with Ben Affleck and John Lithgow, also at the Grammy Museum; and screenings of buzzed-about films ranging from the hard-hitting documentary “The Tillman Story” to the low-budget, Mexico-set sci-fi thriller “Monster” (“the ‘District 9’ of this festival,” said one LAFF attendee). 

The North American premiere of the anthology film “Revolucion” drew another full house to the 800-seat theater at the Regal Cinemas, and attracted six of the 10 filmmakers who contributed to the alternately tough and lyrical tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution. (At least one of the missing directors had visa troubles.) 

Twilight crowd“We’re very happy to be here showing this movie in this very Mexican city,” said director Rodrigo Garcia, whose contribution is set in the MacArthur Park section of Los Angeles. 

“From the second and third floor up, it’s 1930s America,” said Garcia of the neighborhood.  “From the second floor down, it’s downtown Mexico City.”

Out on the plaza in front of the Nokia Theatre, meanwhile, it’s downtown “Twilight” city.