November 17, 2004

SLIFF Thoughts

I'm a movie geek, probably as much (if not more) than I am a pop culture geek. So much so that, when the request came for volunteers for the St. Louis International Film Festival, I jumped at the chance. Oh, sure, I would get a discount anyway, being a member of Cinema St. Louis, but volunteers get free passes.

That's right - free. Better than $7/movie, all for working 5 hour shifts. Mostly at the Tivoli - although that and the Hi-Pointe are both nearby and really cool. I just dig 1920's-style theaters over 1950's style, the same way people might appreciate late-1970s, darker Batman over 1950s, science-fiction Batman.

Monday was my first night - unfortunately, visiting Mom in Chicago meant that I had to miss the first few days of the festival, but Monday more than made up for it. Most of my time was spent on my feet, checking tickets, carrying stuff, but I was able to get in to see Tosuma, a movie from Senegal about an old soldier trying to get his pension. If this movie were American made, it would probably be seen as trite, cliche, and with the plot twists coming a mile away; however, this ended up being one of the most good-hearted movies I have ever seen in my life.

Last night, I didn't get the chance to sneak in last night, but had a blast anyway. First, thanks to an "Ask Amy" clipping int the window of Star Clipper Comics, women are encouraged to meet guys at comic shops, meaning that I may actually end up on a date before I'm 64.

Anyway, most of last night was spent on my feet - handing out programs, distributing ballots, but had a total blast taking tickets at the front of Tivoli.

(For my STL homies - that's right, I took tickets at the Tivoli. Even met John, the guy who does it on a regular basis outside of the fim festival. How cool is that? Especially since I had always wanted to work at a theater, but sadly grew up in the early days of the mulitplex/dying days of the single movie theater. The Brighton theater in Chicago - where I snuck in to many an R - rated, second run film - is now an empty lot. But I digress)

Quote of the day - one of the venue captains (and next year, I'm definitely volunteering to be in charge) said, "There are too many weird films....too many films about landmines...there's nothing with a mainstream approach..."

Just a few thoughts:
  • Can you ever have too many films about landmines?
  • I thought the whole point of a festival was to show films that maybe were a little quirky?
  • I can only imagine a comic book reader saying, "That Ex Machina book is just too weird - we need more books with bad writing and Liefeldian art."
Speaking of Liefeldian, I am really looking forward to Saturday night - LolliLove (a mockumentary), Guardians of the Realm (babes battle demons!), and the midnight show? Inbred Redneck Alien Invasions.

Compared to that, Sunday's showing of Kinsey will seem anticlimactic, in every sense of the word.

1 comment:

Dorian said...

In reference to Tosuma, though I haven't seen it, I've often noticed that I have a tendency to cut world cinema and minority cinema some slack on stuff that I wouldn't on American or European films. The American film-making system has had over a hundred years to get all the trite, cliche stories out of their system. Some of these countries have had only, what, twenty years of making films without the government looking over their shoulders to make sure that they're "on message."