Texans in L.A.: the 2011 L.A. Film Festival opens with “Bernie”

Matthew McConaughey in "Bernie" (Mandalay / Wind Dancer Films)
Matthew McConaughey in “Bernie” (Mandalay / Wind Dancer Films)

The 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off tonight with the premiere of the Richard Linklater comedy “Bernie” starring Jack Black as an effeminate mortician, with Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine. Both actors praised Black in the role promising sides of Jack Black audiences have not seen before.

As an independent filmmaker in these corporate designed, slickly-packaged times for movies, it took Linklater over a decade to finally get the film made. He told L.A. Times: “It was my most difficult one to get made. It took 12 years to happen, and even then it was tough. People can say shooting in 22 days makes a movie better. It doesn’t.”

This year at LA Film Festival 2011: "Bernie" starring, Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black, Shirley MacLain. Genre: Biography, comedy, crime.
Matthew McConaughey is Danny Buck in Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” (2011) – Screening at LA Film festival 2011

Linklater’s previously teamed up with Black on “The School of Rock” (2003).

Unlike “Bernie” which is set it Texas, many of the films shown at the festival are shot and set in Los Angeles: “Drive” starring Ryan Gosling, “How to Cheat” Amber Sealey’s drama, and Chris Weitz’s gang land tale, “A Better Life,” to name a few.

Beginning on Friday at 12:30 pm, a series of free lunchtime talks, sponsored by L.A. Times will be held at the filmmaker’s lounge. It is a place to discuss these L.A. based films in the heart of downtown, by the people who help making them.  You can watch the live chats on LA Times’ website.

For more info on these lunchtime panels about documentary filmmaking, family films, gay and other topics visit this section of the LAFF website

LA FILM FESTIVAL:  June 16-26, 2011

Official website:

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