AUSTIN — Film festivals will often have surprise screenings that aren’t listed in the official program. They’re designed to create a little buzz, though I’ve often wondered if part of the surprise revolves around questions as to whether or not the film would be ready to show in time.
Either way, the job of any good festivalgoer is to sniff out these screenings, which is what I’ve been doing of late. And from what I can tell, there are two of them: Bruno and Me and Orson Welles.
Bruno is Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to Borat. Fans of HBO’s Da Ali G Show will remember Bruno as the gay fashion designer. The new film is supposed to take a similar approach as Borat in that you can expect Bruno to ambush any number of homophobic folks across middle America, filming their disgust along the way. Rumors have swirled for a while now that part of it was filmed in Carrollton; whether or not any of that footage made it into the final cut is anyone’s best guess. I’m going to try and hit the 11 p.m. screening of it tonight, but methinks that only a lucky few will get in as it is playing at one of the smaller theaters down here.
The other sneak preview is Austin director Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles. That film stars Zach Effron and Claire Danes and centers on a 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar directed by Welles. It showed previously at last fall’s Toronto Film Festival and shows Monday at 11 a.m. at the Paramount.
Both of these films will open around the country later this year. But there’s a certain pride in being able to say you saw it first. So I’ll give Bruno my best shot tonight.