Monday, March 05, 2007

My Very First Film Festival!

Saturday. Up at (ugh) six for the not-so-long drive to Sedona for one day at the big film festival. The idea: get there at eight, pick up tickets for the films we wanted to see, followed by a quick breakfast. It was not to be.

Contrary to the advice given my neighbor, who organized the expedition, "a handful of people in line at eight" was, instead, a huge crowd.

And the lines moved slowly.

Fortunately, the goodie concession was open. An alternate breakfast plan. Popcorn?

Oops -- periodic announcements that certain films were already sold out.

The way in to the film scene. Four of the Sedona Harkins' six screens were tied up by the festival showings, that being all that's available up among the red rocks. I heard talk that if the festival grows any bigger, it might be necessary to move some of the screenings to Prescott and Flagstaff. Hoorah! I like that idea.

Before the show, announcements, pats on the back for sponsors, etc.

A few seats got roped off for VIPs in front of me. No big deal.

Photographing a motion picture in process is neither easy nor very productive. This shot from The Great Zambini was my most successful.

After the morning films, we emerged into the real world, the brightly lit world. Time to walk to the festival pavillion for food and whatever else was on offer...

On the way, a paean suitable to the occasion...

...hastily mounted cinema- oriented postings in a graffiti-scarred phone booth... a reminder that other business continues whilst the crowds are at the theater.

The pavillion. Courtesy of Wells Fargo.

Inside -- food. Our $30+ worth of sandwiches for three, from one of the top local restaurants. Have to admit my smoked salmon was pretty darned tasty and made both lunch and dinner.

Other attractions (in addition to the Sedona javelina) included a real dance band. Well, a combo -- but what a change -- wonderful old pop standards, instead of rock or rap.That night, the Sammy Davis Jr. band was playing. Free, coutesy of the festival.

Even a dance floor and a few couples who remembered how it used to be done.

A trolley for the short hop back to the Harkins. BTW, is this the trolley that used to serve Prescott tourons in the summer?

Doings in a calmed down, less hectic lobby. More berets than I have seen in years...

A lady looking for turned-in tickets for short subjects...

And the merchandise concession. DVDs of a few of the 150 films from the festival...

...and, of course, that absolute necessity for any event nowadays -- the I-was-there, special- occasion Tshirt.

I realize that I've talked about the ambience of the daytime Sedona Film Festival, not the meat. Part of reason is simply that I lack the pictures to accompany my talk-talk. However, there is something frenetic about viewing too many movies in too short a time. They begin to run together -- this happened to me years ago when my husband and I hoped to make films. On occasion, we'd scrounge short subjects, whatever we could round up, and be in that dark neverneverland for hours on end, coming out for meals, bed, the necessities. A weird experience!

However, back to Sedona. I saw one feature film (Away from Her, a prize-winner) ... missed seeing another pair (Climates and Homeland Security), which were sold out by the time we got to the ticket counter. The full-length movies were almost all "serious", many were definitely downbeat and a number would qualify as chick flix. Movies for grown-ups, unlike modern omniplex fare.

I viewed two programs of shorts. Interesting. Back when I was young, short subjects were almost all newsreels, cartoons or documentaries. Saturday, most were fiction. Primarily about boys and their fathers. Oedipus is back in style. Three were what could be called experimental -- again taking me back to the years of college film series. I did not see the controversial Smoki film -- it was sold out. And will probably be shown locally, to boot.

Question: would I do it again? In a minute if I could get there! Sure would prefer to see the flicks here in Prescott, however. And not all in one day. It would help to get a chance to ponder a film before overlaying it with images and ideas from three others, to confuse my old grey head. Nonetheless, the day was a real treat, thanks to my good neighbors!


Lucy said...

Cor! wish I'd been there.
Actually, I don't think I've ever done that, watched one film after another on a big screen, I can imagine it might be pretty overwhelming. The atmosphere looks good though.
If you've a minute could you pop across to mine and have a look at the last post? - I hope you like it (nervously!)

anaglyph said...

A couple of things, Granny J:

1. 'Caution' tape on the VIP seats? That looks damn scary to me...

2. Taking photos of the films is likely to get you thrown in the slammer. You pirate you.

Granny J said...

Ms. Lucy -- I popped over and all I can say is, "WOW!" Such an endorsement; I hope I can live up to it. Thanks, too, for the many visitors you've sent my way. Can't say as I don't welcome such attention. As for the big screen, yes it can be both overwhelming and intimidating.

Mr. Anaglyph -- First I take the picture, then I wait to see if I'm arrested. I plan on pleading my grey hair if that happens. As for the tape, I heard them talking as they laid it out, so I didn't worry about anything except for the western habit of wearing a big hat indoors.

herhimnbryn said...

I agree with Lucy, looks like a great way to spend some time. Not sure I could cope with too many films in a row though!

Granny J said...

G'day to you, too. Perhaps you once met my bro who has lived in Nedlands for lo these 20 years at least. He works on a reforestration project & his wife recently retired from a local agency for the aged...

Anonymous said...

It sounds a little hectic, but I think I would enjoy being there. I have a friend who used to work for the Army here in Germany. His wife is German and from the town we live in. They moved to Sedona and opened a micro brewery/eatery. The festival must have been good for business.

Granny J said...

Wonder if your friends are the people behind that excellent boutique beer that is currently bottled up in Sedona for our local market (among others.) Though I deplore many current/recent trends, I surely do applaud the return of Real Beer.

Photo Blog Blog Top Sites Blog Directory for Prescott, AZ

Local Blogs - Blog Top Sites