12 Years a Slave

Phillip and I woke up early enough to head to the Le Pierre theatre to see the documentary The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden. After grabbing some coffee and sitting in our seats, we realized that we would rather go to the courthouse and watch a Q&A with Ralph Fiennes. After grabbing breakfast and relaxing in the park, we made our way to the courthouse to see everyone’s favorite actor from Maid in Manhattan. The courthouse was tight, but there were four open chairs directly in front of Ralph. No one had taken the chairs, assuming they were reserved. When they were announced as open seating, it was like the Hunger Games of moms fighting for their spot in front of Ralph. After the talk, it was a little comical to find these women almost in tears approaching him. I’m sure we will all be this way when we’re 50 and meeting Ryan Gosling or Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the first time, right?

RalphFiennes

Actors Q&A, including the cast of The Invisible Woman, 12 Years a Slave, and Blue is the Warmest Color

Actors Q&A, including the cast of The Invisible Woman, 12 Years a Slave, and Blue is the Warmest Color

After getting some lunch and grabbing our clothes for the Mid Fest Party, we got into line at the Palm for 12 Years a Slave with close to 2 hours to spare. We knew this was going to be a popular film, and we were right. We were excited to see Steve McQueen again introducing the film, I was excited to hear a score by Hans Zimmer, and we spent the next 2 and half hours involved in one of the most powerful films about our country’s past. It was terrifically acted and wonderfully produced.

I rushed out of 12 Years a Slave and jumped back in line for The Past. I have heard wonderful things about this film, so I think it was worth being late to the Mid Fest Party. When you attend a film festival, you will find the people who only go to documentaries, or only go to foreign films, or only attend screenings of films that will not get wide distribution, or distribution at all. At film festivals, especially at Telluride, you will find films that WILL get wide distribution. For example, two years ago The Artist screened at Telluride. Last year, it was Argo. I do not have a problem seeing these more popular films in the least bit. I do like to mix it up, but I’ve been so concerned about catching these films, like Gravity and Labor Day, that I could  just wait to see. What was worse is that I was not enjoying these films. I decided that The Past, an Iranian film with French subtitles, was just what I needed. The writing! Oh, the writing! And the performances! Although the film was in no way, shape, or form a happy film, I felt refreshed walking out of the theatre.

It was time for the Mid Fest Party, from 8pm to 2am. I really tested my love for cold weather by standing outside for the majority of the night. I was working the coat check, right behind the check in table. I think the eye contact with Fassy, followed by the head nod and the hello made the night worth it. Of course, I answered the beautiful man with the world’s shakiest voice. It’s fine. I was most interested in speaking with Jason Reitman, but alas it did not occur. As the night was coming to an end, we were allowed to dive into the leftover party food and drink. All things delicious.

MidFest

Ice cream shot mustaches

Phillip and I ended our night, as always, with a glass of wine on the patio. One more day.

12 Years a Slave Historical studio films like this are what we call “perfect.” With a gorgeous score from Hans Zimmer and a life-changing performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor, this film captures the cruelties faced during this historically embarrassing time period in our country. Steve McQueen is extremely talented and he will surely receive an Oscar nomination for his work. I always enjoy the consistent work of an auteur and am a huge fan of Shame, McQueen’s previous film; therefore, my only complaint is that I wish I could have seen more of McQueen’s style in his directing of this film. A

The Past Asghar Farhadi, the man who brought us A Seperation, has succeeded yet again with this film. The performances are nothing short of outstanding and every character, even the littlest, brings much to the story. Although this film is “just a family drama,” the writing makes it much more than that. Even with the somber story, you will leave the film feeling relieved that they still make films as beautiful as this. A

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