Photo by Heather Kennedy for Birth.Movies.Death.
Nicolas Cage means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, he’s one of the great and under-appreciated actors of his time, as physical and expressive a performer as modern film has seen. For others, he’s an over-the-top cult figure. To casual onlookers, he’s the centerpiece of all those “craziest scenes from The Wicker Man” montages on YouTube. In actuality, Cage exists at the nexus of all these things and more, as an utterly singular being who’s given a litany of exceptional performances throughout his career, and (lest we ever forget) will be immortalized in a concrete pyramid in New Orleans when he one day continues to the next grand adventure.
For several years now, the Alamo Drafthouse has celebrated Cage’s mad genius with a day-long CAGED marathon, a curated mystery box of movies from his eclectic filmography. In its fourth year, though (appropriately named C4GED), the Drafthouse pulled off the ultimate coup for a festival celebrating all things Cage: the man himself. This year’s festival has been called the fourth and final edition, but the Drafthouse sent it out with a bang, inviting Cage to grace the audience with his inimitable presence and screen a fresh batch of Cage classics that the actor hand-picked: Bangkok Dangerous, Joe, Bringing Out the Dead, Army of One, and Lord of War.
As if that weren’t enough, Cage also took the stage and delivered a dramatic reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” which the Drafthouse has been kind enough to make public. There’s a lot of suspicion lately that the world is losing itself to the invisible forces of darkness, but for one glorious January day in Austin, Nicolas Cage spent twelve hours watching a bunch of his movies with a theater full of die-hard fans. There is goodness in us yet.
You can watch Cage’s reading here, and check out more pictures from the event over at Birth.Movies.Death.