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finnegan

Virginia Film Festival

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I'm very much looking forward to attending the festival for three days this year, Thursday-Saturday. I have large gaps Thursday afternoon before the festival gets underway and Friday until 5:15. I may go to a 3:00-ish show that day but am noncommittal at this point; there's nothing earlier that morning or afternoon, so I may use that time, if I'm not writing, to hit some local wineries and restock our wine rack.

 

My tentative lineup is as follows.

 

Thursday

5:30 Private Violence

7:15 Led Zeppelin Played Here

9:30 The Babadook (second viewing), or Actress (at 9:00)

 

Friday

5:15 A Year in Champagne  

8:30 Mommy 

 

Saturday

11:00 a.m. Art and Craft 

1:30 Level Five 

4:00 Buzzard 

6:45 Animals 

 

Head home

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Christian,

I'm still on the fence, but I'll probably be there all four days (though I won't stay late on Sunday). Let me know if you want to try to get together on Friday for lunch or something. (Won't be offended if you are working or seeing other friends.)

Ken

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When a friend told me he'd ordered all his Va. Film Festival tickets a few weeks ago, I told him I always wait until I get to the festival before purchasing my tickets. That way, if my car breaks down, or -- more likely -- I get sick or something, I'm not out a bunch of money for tickets I can't use. It helps, I told him, that tickets for the movies I want to see at the festival are usually still available in large numbers as the festival gets underway. 

 

Last night I came down with a fever, which has persisted into today. I'm staying home from work today in an effort to rest and kick the fever, making an already abbreviated work week - I'd planned to leave for the festival on Thursday - even shorter. I have some work deadlines to meet before I leave town, so if I can't get back to work tomorrow, I may have to push my trip back a day or two, or not go at all. 

 

I'd appreciate your prayers for my health. It's a small thing, a first-world problem, but I was really looking forward to getting away for the long weekend. 

 

Thanks, all.

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I'm back now from the festival, which was strong this year. Yesterday's Mommy screening was the clear highlight, but today was strong throughout, with some surprises in Chris Marker's Level Five, the sub-Ape-level but still interesting Buzzard and a major surprise in Animals, about which I had impressions that turned out to be so wrongheaded (due to my own inattentiveness to details about the film ahead of time) that I stayed surprised throughout.

 

Also, anyone interested in classic rock music -- especially if you grew up in the D.C. area in the late 1960s/early 1970s -- will enjoy Led Zeppelin Played Here, my Day 1 favorite at the festival.

Edited by Christian

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My festival report at CT. Sounds like Christian had a better time than I did, though, admittedly, my choices were limited by what I had seen at TIFF (Imitation Game; Sound and the Fury, The Humbling, The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher; Walesa Man of Hope--in 2013). SXSW (Alive Inside; The Winding Stream), and Full Frame (Hip Hop Fellow, Private Violence. Freedom Summer; 20,000 Days on Earth; ) and the fact that the two movies I most wanted to see (Wild; Mr. Turner) got a late Sunday schedule.

 

Holbrook/Twain was very good. 5 to 7 was laughably awful. 

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I'll read that now, Ken. Ya know, I saw a guy at Buzzard and then in the Regal lobby who looked a little like you, but I convinced myself it wasn't you and never approached the guy to confirm. Did I look right at you and ignore you? Say it ain't so!

 

Also, the festival put out a release today touting its success this year:

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA– November 12, 2014 – The recently-completed 2014 Virginia Film Festival  took the Festival’s recent string of record-breaking success to a whole new level, smashing its previous box office record, set last year, by a remarkable 45.6 % and setting a new record for tickets issued in the process.

 

The Virginia Film Festival is presented by the University of Virginia.

 

Festival officials announced today that the 2014 VFF set all-time marks at the box office, coming in at $174,946. The 2013 Festival held the previous mark of $120,000.

 

In addition, the VFF set a new all-time record of 28,609 tickets issued. The weekend also featured 41 sold out screenings.

 

EDIT: Oh, man, you saw Led Zeppelin Played Here (I loved that one; my Law-student friend was puzzled by my enthusiasm) and Actress (I was put off by the "is it real or a performance" nature of this so-called "documentary" and couldn't get past that from the film's opening moments), both of which I was at, so yeah, that was you with the backpack, no? You looked right at me a couple of times. I wish you'd said, "Yeah, it's me, dumbass," or something like that.

Edited by Christian

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I wasn't at Buzzard so it probably wasn't me. Sounds like we were both at Led Zeppelin, but I didn't see you. No harm, no foul. My vague recollection is that you might have friends in area, so it's the sort of thing I would have said "hello" if I had seen you but wasn't anticipating hanging out or anything. 

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I'll read that now, Ken. Ya know, I saw a guy at Buzzard and then in the Regal lobby who looked a little like you, but I convinced myself it wasn't you and never approached the guy to confirm. Did I look right at you and ignore you? Say it ain't so!

...

 

EDIT: Oh, man, you saw Led Zeppelin Played Here (I loved that one; my Law-student friend was puzzled by my enthusiasm) and Actress (I was put off by the "is it real or a performance" nature of this so-called "documentary" and couldn't get past that from the film's opening moments), both of which I was at, so yeah, that was you with the backpack, no? You looked right at me a couple of times. I wish you'd said, "Yeah, it's me, dumbass," or something like that.

 

Ken's acquired some flouro green hair spikes and bodymod jewelry in the past twelve months, so you might not have recognized him.

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I wasn't at Buzzard so it probably wasn't me. Sounds like we were both at Led Zeppelin, but I didn't see you. No harm, no foul. My vague recollection is that you might have friends in area, so it's the sort of thing I would have said "hello" if I had seen you but wasn't anticipating hanging out or anything. 

 

Oh, good. Still, I would always take advantage of the opportunity to see you and other A&F folks at these events. I saw a the aforementioned films with the law student/friend I was staying with, and Victor Morton was there for Actress. I wouldn't want to keep you from your assignments/writing, but I had several opportunties for a quick meal or coffee between shows. These are the times when I smartphone would come in handy. (No one actually makes voice calls to my cellphone any longer.)

 

I'll read that now, Ken. Ya know, I saw a guy at Buzzard and then in the Regal lobby who looked a little like you, but I convinced myself it wasn't you and never approached the guy to confirm. Did I look right at you and ignore you? Say it ain't so!

...

 

EDIT: Oh, man, you saw Led Zeppelin Played Here (I loved that one; my Law-student friend was puzzled by my enthusiasm) and Actress (I was put off by the "is it real or a performance" nature of this so-called "documentary" and couldn't get past that from the film's opening moments), both of which I was at, so yeah, that was you with the backpack, no? You looked right at me a couple of times. I wish you'd said, "Yeah, it's me, dumbass," or something like that.

 

Ken's acquired some flouro green hair spikes and bodymod jewelry in the past twelve months, so you might not have recognized him.

 

The guy I had seen looked Ken-like, but he had a strong goatee I didn't remember Ken having. Hence, my hesitancy. Still, it bugs me that Ken and I were in the same small auditorium a couple of times and didn't catch each other's eye. Same goes for a couple of WAFCA colleagues who saw me post my list of festival favorites on Twitter and responded, "You were there?" Yes, I was!

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No I didn't have a backpack with me. I was wearing an orange coat that most thought a bit too heavy; I usually sat in the middle of the theater on left side, where the one row extends farther than the others so that nobody would be sitting in front of me. 

 

ACTRESS is a peculiar film. And--full disclosure--Robert Greene is a social media friend, so there was no way I wasn't going to be a supportive viewer. I actually wanted to pair it with the Holbrook/Twain (I may still do so at my blog) as different kinds of profiles. But that didn't work out for various reasons I can't get into here. My big problem with the film is that I really didn't like Brandy. And while Greene was absolutely correct in saying that such a reaction says more about me than it does about the film, I found it an odd mix of subject/approach. I would have understood a more editorial film (Like Queen of Versailles) that comments, however obliquely, about its subject, or even a film like Shut Up and Sing! that defends its subject (while acknowledging the criticisms). 

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