Packing ten days of multiple screenings, often three or four a day, is not for wimps or sensible people.
The civic ambassador in me replies,
Embracing a great cultural event that brings millions into the city’s coffers and places us firmly as a leader in global arts is good, no?
Fellow parents get this:
September is back to school time, no? This is my school.
To puzzled new friends (the old ones already endure), here’s a quick field guide.
Prepare for pain along with the pleasure.
Unless you’re one of the posh, figure standing in line for longer than you planned.
Endure delays that totally screw up your carefully planned schedule.
Sit through inane queries during post film Q&A sessions.
Suffer the disappointment of a film that didn’t live up to buzz. What the hell were they thinking?
Eye strain, leg cramps, caffeine overload. No, I can’t do laundry. Screw the mess.
But who’s bitching?
If you love movies, this is what heaven looks like. Let’s call it what it is. A love affair.
Slumped there in the dark, sharing a spectacular vision with others, lifts, carries, and sustains a creative flush within me. I forget to eat. Sleep is limited. What there is of it is wretched.
Outside of the theatre, this former film student is distracted, dreamy and no, I don’t care about the red carpet. I’ve met and interviewed these people once upon a time, although there are a few I would love to invite…let’s say dinner, shall we?
Making a film takes great courage. It is the writers and directors, dissecting their art in brief tidbits, who bring out the fangirl, gobbling up their flashes of brilliance, hoping it will inspire me on flat days when a blank page is just a blank page. To discover a clever piece of filmmaking, whether lurking within a messy script, held together by a majestic score, or whispered by a raw, exposed-to-there actor, is to forget your pathetic self. Then find yourself, seconds later, touched by something, by everything.
Exit the theatre from a sleek thriller and the thunderstorm outside is surreal. Encounter an attractive stranger, after a steamy love story and think, Take me, take me right here, right now. Luckily for me, the Friendly Greek is my companion for most of my films. Film geeks excel in restraint.
Travel across the planet and experience stunning vistas. Your own streets have new colours. Homeless forms have faces. Peek in at your sleeping children when you stumble home after a midnight screening and know that mother in the Congo shares all your anxieties.
This is the stuff of life, new friend. I’m here to gulp it up. Feel free to join me.