C4GED 4-EVER: Nicolas Cage just crashed an annual film festival dedicated to… Nicolas Cage

Such majesty. Such grace.

There are two important things you need to know about Austin, Texas. First is that it prides itself on being the ‘live music capital of the world’, with more venues per capita than any other city in the US. The second is that its unofficial slogan is ‘Keep Austin weird’. Live music has no bearing on the following story from Austin, Texas – but, dear reader, weirdness absolutely does.

“Join us as we plunge into the depths of the mind of our greatest living thespian,” read the advert for C4GED 4-EVER, the fourth edition of the mad Nicolas Cage-themed film festival at the city’s Alamo Drafthouse. “Break free of the shackles of normalcy and embrace the MEGA EXTREME for a 10-hour thrill ride of Cage’s mightiest and most downright-bizarre films. MAY CAGE BE WITH YOU.”

Now an annual celebration, this edition (on January 29) followed in the footsteps of such esteemed celebrations as CAGED, CAGED 2: UNCAGED and, of course, the unforgettable CAG3D. But C4GED 4-EVER was a different experience entirely, because Nicolas Cage himself attended. Nicolas Cage the con airtist. The moonstruck wicker man. The snake-eyed ghost rider. Bangkok Dangerous himself (yeah, us neither). At the end of it all, he did a lengthy Q&A that gave us all an insight into the mind of a man who could quite conceivably play every character in Game of Thrones.

He also performed an 11-minute reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, as “my way of saying ‘thank you’,” explaining that it “influenced my work… I used to read it when I was a child, and it gave me all kinds of nightmares, and I think I was trying to make movies on some level to get to that feeling in some of the more manic performances.” We’ve made a GIF of the best bit, but you can watch the whole thing underneath.

How will next year’s fest – presumably entitled CAGED 5: THE CAGENING – possibly top this?