It’s not unfair to say that Butt-Numb-a-Thon 5 turned me into a cinephile. Something about the combination of seeing Oldboy and Buster Keaton’s death-defying The General with a live accompaniment shook something loose in my brain. I was fortunate enough to have parents that shared their favorites with me through the magic of AMC and TCM, but sitting in the Colorado Street Alamo Drafthouse, surrounded by strangers and beautiful cinema was graduation time.
For those who don’t know, the easiest explanation for BNAT is as a 24-hour film festival put on with the bottomless knowledge of Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool and the showman’s flair of Tim League. Sometimes that involves eating scrambled eggs after watching the live birth in Teenage Mother or getting a Fleshlight just before seeing Hobo With a Shotgun.
At any rate, Harry has just posted the application (complete with explanation for why you need to fill one out) that could become your ticket to attending. If you’re curious about what’s played before, here’s a great place to look, but the line-up is always a giant surprise. That element makes the event even more special, but given the timing and the festival’s history, it’s probably a good bet that a certain Peter Jackson movie will be on tap (and Jackson himself might make another appearance). Beyond that, it’s a mystery, and hearing what Harry has up his sleeve is a thing of joy. So if the thought of learning that you’re about to see a rare print of Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight or a crazy foreign action movie or a work-in-progress of the next geek property gets your engine revving, do yourself a favor and go apply. Who knows. You might get in and get to bask in cinematic nirvana (and scrambled eggs).