Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Preston Barta // Features Editor
AUSTIN – EXTRA ORDINARY, written and directed by newcomers Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 10. It’s an Irish ghost comedy about a spritely woman named Rose (an excellent Maeve Higgins) who is gifted with supernatural abilities. She can communicate with ghosts, but she’s has some bad paranormal experiences in her rear view. Because of this, she is a driving instructor. However, when she meets a father (hilariously) named Martin Martin (Barry Ward) and one-hit-wonder rockstar Christian Winter (Will Forte), Rose’s gifts return to the forefront.
Well balanced with comedy and genuine chills (one sequence of a body floating down a hallway is the stuff of nightmares), EXTRA ORDINARY is a screaming success full of fun energy, clever wit and killer-good performances.
Fresh Fiction sat down with directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman and stars Will Forte, Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward and Claudia O’Doherty to discuss the film after its premiere. We chatted about the film’s buffet of comedy, delivering a spectacular conclusion and working with new filmmaking talent.
Our SXSW interview with the cast and filmmakers of EXTRA ORDINARY:
EXTRA ORDINARY premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX, on March 10, 2019. It’s final encore screening is on March 15 at the Zach Theatre at 8 p.m. The film is currently seeking distribution, so if you haven’t caught it, now is the time.