Saturday, June 26, 2010

LAFF-ing All The Way to the Bank

What has happened to you, LA Film Festival? You are disappointing me. Last night felt like Purgatory. And by that, I mean, waiting in line for absolutely everything. I guess it was my fault for not securing a pass. But hey, I don't have $500 right now to give to the film festival so I can stand in line somewhere else. Some of us have student loans to pay. While I used to and still enjoy chatting up my fellow line-waiters, you come to realize that many of the conversations in-line are not about that great film from Kenya. Instead, the conversations steer closer to, "Did they say the film is running 15 minutes late, or 45 minutes late?"
There seems to be a lack of scheduling this year. I waited in line for about 40 minutes to get into the free screening of Lost Angels, only to find out not only were there no more seats, but the film started 15 minutes late. And it was too late to check out another film. So, I guess I can hang out in the void that is LA Live's open air space until my next film starts at 9:45pm. Only, that film actually started around 10:15pm.

Yeah, that was silly of me. What I like about LAFF last year was the enclosure atmosphere. Everything was about the film festival in Westwood. This year, the indie film crowd shares the same space as graduating high school seniors, Club Nokia goers, Lakers fans, and hockey families enjoying all the pleasures of the NHL draft. Seriously. This makes for a diverse, but chaotic crowd of individuals, who all happen to be hungry. Oh, and the Starbucks is out of food. The smell of Miller Light and diapers does not mix well with the smell of some full-bodied, California Cabernet and smugness. And both do not mix well with the smell of hair gel, lip gloss, and used condoms either.

I guess I should talk a little about the movie I did see last night. Ain't in It for My Health documents aging rocker Levon Helm as he struggles with waning popularity, money issues, and losing his voice. Great film, but personally, I wanted to see more about Levon's previous battle with cancer. Seems to be omitted from the doc. Also, the doc never fully answered why Levon was bitter about The Band's height of popularity.

Happy Filmmaking.

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