While I wait for City Hall to get back to me about something, here's a little something to fill your holiday-week "work" hours: 32 minutes with Peter Weller, most of it shot Saturday during our chitchat following the Dallas Film Society's Very Special Screening of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension at the Angelika. You'll note: John Lithgow, who'd done a Q&A at the Hall of State Friday night, didn't attend, as had been advertised, because of a last-minute family obligation in Fort Worth.
Dallas International Film Festival Artistic Director James Faust and Weller before the screening
No matter: Judging by the number of attendees who showed up with their sealed RoboCop action figures and bagged Buckaroo Banzai comics, they were there to see Weller anyhow. And he did not disappoint. Alas: Our time was cut a little short, since the DFS found a 35mm print of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse, which had the nicest guy in the world drive up with it in between screenings down in Austin. It took a few extra minutes to assemble the print, but it was worth it. Still, by the time we wrapped there was a huge crowd outside waiting to see The Descendants. So, no RoboCop talk. Not this time, anyway. Maybe next time. And there will be a next time.
One thing you won't see: After we wrapped, a few of us -- including Weller's North Texas State roommate, none other than former Dallas Morning News photo editor Jim Mahoney -- went to the Mockingbird Station Starbucks. As Weller was talking about his close friendship with Miles Davis, who bequeathed him an enormous self-portrait, a young girl and her mother walked up and asked if we'd like to buy a bar of chocolate to help raise funds for her school, St. Ceclia in Oak Cliff. Weller asked: "How many are in the box?" The girl handed it to him, he counted out 19 and bought whatever anyone else didn't, then handed out the candy to whoever was standing around. Turns out, RoboCop would also buy that for a dollar; two, even.