Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Love Me A Good Movie

This weekend was my first official press function and my first film festival. And as a movie junkie and aspiring journalist - the experience was truly one I can't wait to relive next year. Because next year I'm going pro. The pro's at these things plan days in advance. They map out the routes and times of each movie they're going to see and they take friends with them and lattes. They jot down in their program books which movies were good and which were bad and they spend their lives in darkened theaters for four whole days. I only caught a few films due to my hectic schedule and the hour it takes to get to Saugatuck from my place - but they were fun films. Friday after walking the streets of Saugatuck for hours...stopping in some of my favorite little shops, grabbing a delicious Mexican latte & letting my lungs fill with different spices - I met up with relatives to catch the Midwest Premiere of "The Groomsmen" - the new film by Edward Burns. It was fantastically funny, filled with profane language and "real men" characters and enough close-ups up Burns to make any girl happy. Each film was preceded by a short film - and "Gopher Broke" was an adorable tale about a gopher and his quest for grub. Seeing a movie at a festival is nothing like seeing it in the theater. Everyone laughs out loud - not just a couple of straggling chortles here and there that bounce off of fabric draped cinema walls. At the end their is applause and cheers - it's reminiscent of a scene out of Cinema Paradiso. Saturday was even better. I like Saugatuck because it's artsy and it's rich. I don't like it because it can be pretentious. But they have stores that are dedicated to spices. Just spices. Over 200 different kinds. They have art galleries on every corner. The restaurants feature live music - regularly. So I caught "Standing Still" - a cute film about a bunch of kids that reunite after college for a wedding. I met with the director, who smelled really good, and asked a few questions. My aunt and uncle made dinner. I love being at their house because their fridge is always stocked will real food. Cuts of meat and chicken breasts and heavy whipping cream and hummus. I watched my uncle slit cuts of pork with a razor blade, stuff them with fig paste filling and strips of bacon. There was red wine and polenta. We talked about books and music and graphic design and journalism. Afterwards I took my brother and my cousin to see another premiere - this one for "The Descent" a gory, horror movie that had everyone jumping, oohing and aaahing. There was blood, there was slime, there were girls kicking ass. It was a good time. Too tired to catch one on Sunday, I missed out on "Eve of Understanding", but will await its distribution and catch it on DVD. I also missed "Wordplay" a documentary about the guy who invented crossword puzzles and the documentary "Freedom's Fury". I love movies. And I don't go often enough. Tomorrow, all things considered (pun shamelessly intended) I'm going to try and catch "A Prairie Home Companion" and on the weekend - "The Lake House" - hey, if Ebert & Roper can give it 2 thumbs up, I can go see it. Next year - I'm so going pro.

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