E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial screens Friday as the festival’s Flashback Friday feature.

(Illustration by Christopher Street)

(Illustration by Christopher Street)

deadCenter Film Festival



See related stories and the festival program in this issue.

deadCenter Film Festival hosts free outdoor screenings 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Festival organizers expect crowds of around 2,000 each night.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial screens Friday as the festival’s Flashback Friday feature. Oklahoma-born film editor Carol Littleton, known for her work on the 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed box office behemoth, also is one of this year’s deadCenter Icon Award recipients.

E.T. became the highest grossing movie of all time (a record that stood until 1993, when Spielberg beat it with Jurassic Park). It also launched child actress Drew Barrymore into stardom.

Saturday’s screening features possibly the festival’s most fun and upbeat documentary, A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story. Austin, Texas, filmmaker Keith Maitland directed the inside look at the historic and widely successful Austin City Limits public television program as it celebrates its 40th year.

Austin City Limits brought world-class concerts into American living rooms before the show expanded into a high-profile music festival. Maitland’s documentary takes viewers from the show’s Nashville-flavored country origins to its current celebration of everything under the wide “indie” umbrella.

Austin’s dynamic music scene motivated Willie Nelson out of an early retirement in the early ’70s and precluded his transition into the outlaw country genre he’s so well-known for, so it makes sense that one of that city’s greatest heroes was the show’s first performer. Nelson says in A Song for You that he would go on to play Austin City Limits 25 more times. Vintage footage mesmerizes alongside sets from Townes Van Zandt, Ray Charles and Merle Haggard.

Austin City Limits is as relevant today as it was then. Wilco, Radiohead and Beck each shine in the documentary. Its real star, however, is Terry Lickona, the show’s famed producer and visionary. Lickona never runs out of stories.

deadCenter Executive Director Lissa Blaschke said the free, outdoor public screenings are one of the most exciting aspects of the festival.

“I think it’s great that we do these free outdoor films,” she said. “That’s something you don’t usually see at other film festivals.”

If the events are rained out, they move inside to Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.

Myriad’s deadCenter

Myriad’s Great Lawn also hosts the free kidFest community event, which runs 11 a.m.-noon Saturday. Food trucks also will be out by the lawn all day Saturday.

Nonprofit partners The Kirkpatrick Foundation, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, The Bella Foundation and Central Oklahoma Humane Society also host Animal WelFair 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. The Cleats for Kids Summer Kick Off Party is noon-3 p.m. and features activities for children ages 10 and older.

“Our whole philosophy is being part of the community and helping the community and working in the community,” Blasckhe said. “I think it’s just natural for us since we’re in a nonprofit and we have so many nonprofit partners to do something like this.”

Outdoor deadCenter screenings

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

9:30 p.m. Friday

A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story

9:30 p.m. Saturday

Great Lawn

Myriad Botanical Gardens

301 W. Reno Ave.




Print Headline: Starlit screens, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story are deadCenter’s free, outdoor features.

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