Many, many thanks to Susan Moneypenny and everyone at B98 for a sensational trip to Wichita and the Tallgrass Film Festival. I had a blast!
Opening night was the work-in-progress screening of What’s the Matter with Kansas, a documentary from Laura Cohen and Joe Winston that they say is a “sequel” to the best-selling book by Thomas Frank that shares its title. Both explore Kansas as the the heart of Middle America, which twice helped elect George W. Bush. The documentary includes a range of fascinating and stereotype-busting characters, several of whom were in the theater. There was what we in Washington call a “free and frank exchange of ideas” with the film-makers following the screening.
I spent Friday morning in the studio with my beloved Brett, Tracy, and Kathy. I had a tour of the stunning Warren Theater, an art deco masterpiece with white-gloved ushers and a balcony with heated Tempur-pedic loveseats to cuddle in and a full-service menu delivered to you as you watch. And then we had lunch at the best place in town, the Old Mill Tasty Shop. Trust me, it’s worth the trip to Kansas to taste the tomato bisque, chicken salad, and hot fudge sundae brownie.
We saw the documentary shorts:
* Springed Migration (a six-mile portage of a trampoline through the streets of Austin)
* For Tomorrow, The Toms Shoes Story (TOMS shoes gives away a pair of shoes to a poor child for every pair purchased — 65,000 given away so far)
* From My Hands (Fulbright scholar Jessica Tibbits shows us a school for the deaf in Yemen)
* If a Body Meet a Body (the LA coroner’s office has to identify a dead body)
* I See the Music: Baron Wolman The Rolling Stone Years (interview with the man who photographed Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and others for the then-new Rolling Stone)
I got to host the family film screenings, which included <a href="http://www.jumpmovie.com
It all went by too fast!