Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Reel 13

December 2nd, 2008

Inside Thirteen Blogger: Michael Pielocik, Associate Producer, Reel 13

Holiday stress is reaching a fever pitch. The economy is in the toilet. Unemployment numbers are up. And the price of a movie ticket in Manhattan is approaching $14. I don’t know about you, but if I’m paying $14, those sexy Twilight vampires had better wash my car or make me a sandwich or something when they’re done with all their sexy vampire angst. But alas, no.

Which is why I suggest that you stay in on Saturday nights in December and enjoy great movies for free with Reel 13. This month is going to be a stellar one for our little programming block. We’ve got John Wayne in the movie that inspired every filmmaker from Kurosawa to Spielberg, The Searchers, and three, count ’em three, Best Picture Oscar winners: West Side Story (1961), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and Annie Hall (1977). And that’s just the Classics.

As always, there are the Reel 13 Shorts that you select by voting over at the Reel 13 web site. And our December Indies are nothing to sneeze at, either. Falling Angels, starring Miranda Richardson, 13 Conversations About One Thing, starring Oscar winner Alan Arkin and Matthew McConaughey, and Jake Gyllenhaal in the cult favorite Donnie Darko, which has played to packed midnight showings for 6 years or so.

Oldham in the 2006 release, The Guatemalan Handshake

But the movie I’m most excited about in December is The Guatemalan Handshake. Starring independent musician Will Oldham (Matewan), The Guatemalan Handshake is the unconventional story of a small rural town and its oddball inhabitants. Through a series of interconnected vignettes, we learn about Donald (Oldham), who has gone missing in the wake of a meltdown at the local power plant. Narrated by Donald’s best friend, a ten-year-old girl named Turkeylegs, The Guatemalan Handshake is funny, heartbreaking, and surreal, and it’s one of those under-the-radar films that makes Reel 13 a great place to not just see some of your old favorites, but also to discover new ones.

The Guatemalan Handshake premieres on Thirteen on December 20th after Reel 13 Shorts.