Buffalohair: Trinidad Colorado Bedazzles Tinseltown Royalty / Tourists / Artisans

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September 18, 2013
Categories: Art, Buffalohair-Jage Press, culinary news, Entertainment, Film Festivals, Films, Hello World, In the News, Museum, Photography, Review, Screenplay . Tags: ,

Trinidad Colorado Bedazzles Tinseltown Royalty, Tourists & Artisans

a1An international film festival, TrindieFest, located in the picturesque City of Trinidad, Colorado and brain child of Kirk & Julie Loudon, celebrated it’s second year. Contestants and celebs poured in from around the world to partake in this screenwriter/filmmakers right of passage. But somehow this tale morphed to include the zany antics of a community and their street party. Trinidad is somewhat reminiscent of Portland Oregon and Austin Texas and what do these cities have in common? They are weird but weird with distinction and pride. After watching the ArtCade Parade and experiencing the street party on Main St. it was resoundingly clear; Trinidad is weird, in an eclectically fun and entertaining way.

But what timing though; The Smithsonian Show ‘Journey Stories’ is on exhibit at the Arthur Roy Mitchell Museum and this place is packed with art and exhibits that take a person back to the days of the Santa Fe Trail and the time of the Conquistadors. Then there are the other independent art galleries chock full of creations from a multitude of genres and disciplines. The list of artisans in this region is equally as diverse and they come from all over the world. After perusing antique and curio shops while meandering through galleries, folks can enjoy cafe’ au lait at a street-side cafe’ or munch a hand made pizza, maybe a gyro and there is always Chinese. If refreshments with more ‘octane’ are desired there are a variety of upscale venues to choose from.

Then toss in an international film festival (TrindieFest) into the mix writhe with Hollywood royalty, a sampling of industry moguls, investors, screen writers, actors, crews and a grouping of world class movie aficionados. With the likes of world acclaimed director/writer Louis, Morneau, (Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Retroactive, Made Men…), Native American Actor/Stuntman Don Shanks, (Halloween 5, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer…), Donald Zuckerman, (Colorado Film Commissioner), and one of Hollywood’s top Casting Directors, Catrine McGregor schmoozing about, the town emanated with international flare. Hmm, where am I,  is this Cannes, Sundance?

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The Cockroach Car

The ArtCade Parade and exhibit was the event that pushed Trinidad over the edge on Saturday 14, 2013 with it’s amusingly entertaining and a bazaar escapade of weird wildly imaginative custom vehicles. You have not seen anything until you’ve experienced an ArtCade Parade. Strange, colorful, artistic, imaginative and incredibly insane are understatements but in reality its a whole lot of fun for people of all ages. The ArtCade Parade is truly a sight to be seen. Imagine being passed on the interstate by a fire breathing dragon or a car covered in dentures. Fun, twisted and zany is what I call the ArtCade Parade and gossip has it this event will be back even stronger and zanier next year.

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Citizens mingling on the street at Main and Commercial St.

After the parade the intersection of Main and Commercial erupted into a massive street party with vendors hawking as minstrels and Vaudevillian Thespians filled the streets with merriment and joy. And there I was, lugging a zillion pound camera around but it really was fun. The ArtCade cars were parked and on exhibit for all to ogle and chat with the artisan. The atmosphere was relaxed and carefree as people flooded the streets of this community and there was not a bad egg in the bunch, just smiles and laughter. If only the world would stop and have a street party once in a while. Maybe we could smile like the folks in this historic old town of Trinidad, Colorado did.

For me, it was reminiscent of an era of innocence when town leaders and citizens pulled together and enjoyed life, if only for a few days, then return to the rigors of life. Since my assignment was to record all the celebrity interviews and document the film festival I had a golden opportunity to conduct some interviews of my own. Basically, everyone I met from out of town simply loved Trinidad, it’s landscape, architecture, and the bountiful history that envelops this mystically enigmatic region of the Southwest. Visitors mentioned the uniqueness of the community with its vintage architecture contrasted by the rawness of the mountains, plains and the wild open sky.

Trinidad Colorado was an excellent selection for both the Trindiefest Film Festival and the ArtCade Parade. Complemented by galleries, museums, eateries, lounges and motels, all within walking distance, it was a win win situation for tourists and film buffs alike. But there is no question the majesty of Fishers Peak, The Sangre Di Cristo Mountain Range and the Wahatoya’s (Spanish Peaks) stole the show. When the visitors learned more about the regional history and the extraordinarily beautiful landscape including Stonewall, La Veta and  the ‘Highway of Legends’ on Hwy 12, they concluded they would return.

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Writer/Director Louis Morneau with Jim Turner, President of the Independent Film Society of Colorado at the ‘Purgatoire on Elm’ enjoying a nite cap after a day of festivities.

Acclaimed Writer/Director Louis Morneau broke from his usually intense yet stoic demeanor only to reveal that he wanted to go fishing in one of the lakes. I told him how beautiful the ride was along the Highway of Legends. With a lake next to town and other lakes up in the mountains and woods, Mr. Morneau was more than eager to cast his line in one of the picturesque fishing holes this region has to offer. He was taken by the shear dynamic beauty of the mountains and sky as a backdrop to this unique little community. His observations were shared universally by the other visitors I interviewed. As the late movie critics Siskel & Ebert would have said; “Trinidad, Colorado was two thumbs up”.

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Buffalohair, Don Shanks and Michael Myers Mask

Hollywood horror movie legend Donald L. Shanks, Cherokee/Choctaw, is an accomplished stuntman/actor on both the silver screen and television with a career that spanned four decades. He truly is one of Tinseltown’s Royalty Elite. For horror movie aficionados Don Shanks was the man of the hour at the Mullare Murphy Funeral Home, where he was a guest speaker. How appropriate for Michael Myers (Halloween) to do a speech at a funeral home eh. Mr. Shanks was gracious enough to share his harrowing experiences in show business and give some behind the scenes details of what goes on in the stunt industry.

As pleasant as Mr. Shanks is, this dynamo was no slouch and judging from what I saw through the camera lens, he is pure muscle and I think even his fingers are ripped. In a demonstration Don walked up to a 6’4” 225lbs man and simply flipped him up and around then suspended the gentleman in the air upside down on his extended forearms, holay! He works out twice a day, not for vanities sake but to survive. The realities of his trade are far deadlier than the characters he plays in horror films by far and physical fitness is not an option but a prerequisite. Mr. Shanks was also very receptive to fans and did provide an autograph and photo session. I could not resist and got my Burmese NLD satchel signed and took a cheesy picture with Don and the Michael Myers mask. It was just to cool…………

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Festival Founder, Producer/Director Kirk Loudon with the stunning Catrine McGregor, Casting Director/Author after an interview at the Purgatoire on Elm

One of the venues used for the film festival was a haunt called ‘Purgatoire on Elm’, a restaurant and lounge. I did several interviews there and the staff was courteous and friendly. But what blew me away was the steak I consumed at this eatery. The steak was the most tender steak I ate in quite a long time. You could almost cut it with a fork and the flavor was sublime. The salmon was also excellent but the steak caught my attention with all its juicy succulent goodness. It was well worth mentioning to other carnivores that might be wandering the wilds of Southern Colorado in quest of tender bovine flesh. The lounge rocked also but what happens in the Purgatoire on Elm Lounge Stays in Purgatoire on Elm Lounge, capice? l have no explanation for the sheep, olive oil and fish net nylons though.

The only real issue I discovered was people struggling with scheduled events and in some cases skipping events to watch another. The lack of communication was all to apparent since some folks were completely oblivious to some events. When people discovered there was either a parade or a film festival they were sorely disappointed they could not plan for both events since they were already in town. Good thing I took notes at the original briefing because I never found a program though I was directed to places that were devoid of such documents. I looked all over the place for a couple from Kansas and that is when I knew I was screwed. The last time I tried to find a program of any kind I only wanted it for a souvenir but alas I still came up empty handed. Program or no program I still had a blast, got the job done and lost about 5 pounds in the process. Move over Jenny Craig, I’m on the Film Fest Diet eh…

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Colorado Springs Indie Spirit Film Festival

And for my sins I will be taping the 6th Annual Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado Springs from Oct 3rd to the 6th.  From the looks of things I may very well need a pair of roller skates to get around in to catch all the events. Looks like this film festival is going to be a dozy. With critically acclaimed movie ‘Blackfish’ as the opening film this is sure to set the pace for quite an intense film festival indeed. I counted 52 screen showings over a 3 day period and the more I think about it the more feasible the roller skates are. Nothing like a little shameless promotions I always say……

Trinidad Links:

Trinidad Tourism Board

http://www.historictrinidad.com/

TrindieFest Film Festival

http://www.trindiefest.net/

Colorado Springs Links:

6th Annual Indie Spirit Film Festival

http://www.indiespiritfilmfestival.org/

Weird Links:

Portland Oregon

http://www.keepportlandweird.com/

Austin Texas

http://keepaustinweirdfest.com/

Your Devil’s Advocate

Buffalohair

© 2013, Buffalohair Productions. All rights reserved.

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