Destination: Marfa Film Festival
An oasis of art and culture in the West Texas desert, Marfa has been a destination for artists since Donald Judd decamped there from NYC in the 1970s. These days you can visit the Chinati Foundation to take in Judd’s installations, try to catch the mysterious Marfa lights and stop by Prada Marfa, a nonfunctional pop-architectural installation in nearby Valentine, Texas (hurry though, the Texas Department of Transportation has deemed it an illegal outdoor advertisement).
Another great reason to visit? The annual Marfa Film Festival, now in its sixth year. From July 2-6 it features screenings of inspired documentaries, music videos and feature films including Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, filmed over the course of 12 years with the same actors, and an advance screening of Michel Gondry’s latest movie Mood Indigo, starring Audrey Tautou.
Why not enjoy two kinds of trailers? Before you go, preview films like Jeremy Ambers’ Impossible Light chronicling Leo Villeral’s artistic illumination of the SF Bay Bridge and Frances Barth’s short about 1960s NY artist Regina Bogat whose work has until recently remained largely unexhibited. When you’re there, stay in a trailer of the vintage variety at El Cosmico (or a yurt, tepee or glamping-worthy safari tent).
In addition to Marfa’s out-of-the-way charm as a film festival destination, it’s a town with movie history. 1956’s Giant, starring James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor, was filmed there, and more recently it served as the oil town setting for There Will Be Blood and windswept desertscape in No Country For Old Men. The festival is also home to a pop-up arcade, outdoor market and fireworks show, giving you plenty of reasons to find yourself deep in the heart of (West) Texas.