Screw Sundance, 'KeanuCon' Is the Only Film Festival That Matters
You'll get to see 'Speed,' 'The Matrix,' both Bill and Ted movies, and something called "Wyld Stallyns live"—what more could you want?
Photo by James Devaney/GC Images
Keanu Reeves is more than just a mere actor. He is a meme, a myth, a legend—a one-time bass player and spaghetti sauce aficionado, a bastion of human excellence who exudes an effortless, zen-like cool that the rest of us uptight plebes can barely fathom. But for some reason, his decades-long career never received the kind of focus and appreciation that it deeply deserves—until now.
At the end of April, a movie-screening company in Scotland is putting on KeanuCon, the first film festival dedicated entirely to Keanu Reeves—and, good lord, it sounds incredible.
On April 27 and 28, Glasgow's Matchbox Cineclub will screen 11 Keanu Reeves films, from The Matrix to John Wick to My Own Private Idaho—and, of course, both Bill and Ted movies, back to back. The festival also promises something called "Wyld Stallyns live," which, if we lived in a better world, would be Alex Winter and Keanu himself showing up to play some air guitar. More likely, it's probably just some cover band playing that faux-U2 song from when Bill and Ted go to the future or whatever, but still—sounds pretty good!
Matchbox Cineclub is the same company behind the Nic Cage film festival Cage-a-Rama, so KeanuCon was apparently a logical next step.
"We were programming Cage’s work, who is definitely a polarizing figure in popular culture, and kept coming back to Keanu as a kind of antidote to having to defend Cage all the time," KeanuCon co-founder Megan Mitchell recently told Little White Lies. "Keanu inspires so much love, particularly from women, which, for me, is important. The interest and passion that fans of Keanu have seems not just ‘thirst’ orientated, although there’s no denying Keanu’s hot, but from an ability to relate to his honest emotional vulnerability."
Unfortunately, KeanuCon won't appease the die-hard Reeves completists, since this is only an abridged run-through of the guy's oeuvre. Point Break didn't make the cut for some reason, even though the movie sort of inspired one of the biggest film franchises outside of the MCU. Neither did the brutally underrated adaptation of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly. The most glaring omission from the festival, though, is an older and less universally beloved Keanu Reeves flick: the 1986 cult classic River's Edge, one of Keanu's earliest standout performances, though it's forever destined to be overshadowed by Crispin Glover's bonkers-ass accent in the movie. Whatever. We'll take what we can get.
Here's the full KeanuCon lineup, via Matchbox Cineclub:
One Step Away (Robert Fortier, 1985)
Permanent Record (Marisa Silver, 1988)
My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991)
Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994)
The Matrix (Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, 1999)
John Wick (Chad Stahelski, David Leitch, 2014)
Man of Tai Chi (Keanu Reeves, 2013)
Constantine (Francis Lawrence, 2005)
Challenge Death with Dice Roll Cafe
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Stephen Herek, 1989)
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (Peter Hewitt, 1991)
Wyld Stallyns live
Destination Wedding (Victor Levin, 2019)
If you happen to wind up in Scotland at the end of the month with an overwhelming urge to watch Keanu say "whoa" repeatedly on the big screen, you can snag a ticket to the festival here. You're welcome.
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