And so it begins… another film festival. The LA Film Fest marks my fifth. However, it’s different this time. My boss told me that I was going to start going to festivals by the end of the year. A week later, and two days before the LA Film Fest starts, he tells me that he is getting me a pass. A PASS! This is what I have always dreamed. I have access to the filmmaker lounge and festival mixers, which includes their open bar. I don’t have to wait in line and hope that I’ll get in. I just have to show up. I feel professional, and I feel amazing. I could cry I am so happy.
After I picked up my festival pass, I went to the filmmaker’s lounge and had a glass of wine. I did a little bit more work before I shut down for the day. At 7:30pm, I made my way to the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live, slipped into line, and entered the theatre for my first program. Maya Rudolph: The Serious Business of Being Funny. Basically, for the next hour and a half, I was able to listen to Maya Rudolph talk about comedy while showing some of her favorite clips. She was cute, 8 months pregnant, and funny. I really enjoyed her, and it was great to see some clips that I have never seen before and to revisit others that I enjoy, such as Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
After the talk with Maya ended, I exited the theater and walked back down to the lines so I could go see Crystal Fairy at 10pm. This was a film that I wanted to see at Sundance, but couldn’t. It has Michael Cera and Gabby Hoffmann. It takes place in Chile and was directed by a Chilean director. Before I walked down to the lines, I saw the “red carpet” with Michael Cera. It was my first time seeing my long-time crush in person and wow. He looked good. Great. Actually, he looked perfect. With his plaid button down, pull over sweater, and corduroys. He was clearly dressed for me. While I was waiting in line, I was looking around and there was a girl who looked so familiar. She was standing a couple people behind me in line, by herself, holding her ticket, and texting on her phone. I couldn’t figure out where I knew her, but I definitely knew her. Well, I didn’t KNOW her, but she was Juno Temple. She’s been in The Dark Knight Rises and Atonement, but she also had three films at Sundance. Two of which I saw and loved her in: Afternoon Delight and Lovelace. At every film festival I’ve been to, even if an actor was not in the film, they still attended the red carpet or pretty much got attacked by the press. It was definitely different to see a star just standing in line for a film alone with her ticket… just like me. To be honest, I felt like I was the only one who noticed her. She sat a few people down from me in the same row and we were standing close by when we exited, and I didn’t see a single person approach her. However, after the film ended, she was with another girl and many people were approaching this person. I have no idea who this girl is. I still can’t figure it out. Anyways, back to the film. Crystal Fairy is about an American boy who is living in Chile. He is into the drug scene. He meets Crystal Fairy, a free spirited American, at a party when he is coked out. He realizes the next morning that he invited her on his road trip with his Chilean friends to Northern Chile to go to the beach and drink San Pedro cactus. The film is about acceptance. I loved it and it was beautiful. The Q&A following the film was so interesting. The director spoke about how he was trying to make Magic Magic (which was another film at Sundance), but he couldn’t get the funding. So he went low-budget, and grabbed Michael, Gabby, and his three brothers. He shot the film in chronological order and in only 14 days. There was an outline for the film, but no script. Everything was improv. To be honest, I feel like that’s why this film feels so natural and works so well. He said that he likes shooting on digital and to be shooting all of the time. He said sometimes his shots would be 40 minutes long because he never wanted to stop the camera, fearing that it would waste time on set. He said when you cut, the crew checks their cell phones, they eat, they talk to each other, they have to go to the bathroom. If you are filming all of the time, none of that happens. He’s totally right. After the Q&A, Michael and Gabby were left to fend for themselves when exiting the theater. It just so happens, that when my row was exiting, so was Michael. As we walked side by side, exiting the theater, I was the happiest little passholder. I know this is going to be a great festival.