Butt-Numb-a-Thon

Smaug - The Hobbit

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The Hobbit Martin Freeman

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 […]

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Every  Sunday, Old Ass Movies presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. You probably noticed it’s not Sunday, but we’re taking the opportunity to shine the light on five vintage films that played at this year’s Butt-Numb-a-Thon. I’ve only slept for 8 of the past 48 hours, but the enthusiasm I feel for these films is difficult to numb even in the face of drastic sleep deprivation. I know the talking cartoon elephant sitting next to me would agree. Butt-Numb-A-Thon, the 24-hour movie festival celebrating the birthday of Aint It Cool founder Harry Knowles has been heralded as a Geek Christmas because of how incredible the experience is. My first was 7 years ago when Old Boy, Return of the King and early John Wayne spooky Western Haunted Gold graced the screen. That year is regarded as one of the best years on record, but the vintage choices this year – including a Gene Kelly musical, a classic noir that shaped most modern hitman movies, and an impossible to see Orson Welles flick – were devastating in their complete domination of year’s past.

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