It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . .
[And, no, I don’t mean the Holiday season.]
It’s FILM FEST TIME!
I ♥ the Wisconsin Film Festival. It’s four days of independent and/or foreign film, documentaries and happiness. As a bonus, it almost always takes place during the week of my birthday. It’s like the best gift EVER, every single year.
The film schedule was released yesterday, and the box office opens tomorrow. Which means that tonight I will be planning my festival like I’m staging a military coup. Besides one break a day for a good meal, I pretty much spend the first weekend of April every year racing from one venue to another. I have to account time for walking and bathroom breaks (especially because I refuse to use the facilities at the Orpheum – they’re dark, old and scary), but other than that, it’s wall-to-wall films.
I generally see between 12-15 films each year, which is excellent considering that Thursday and Friday films don’t start until after 4:00 p.m. It’s tough to get to more than two films on those days.
This year, I will be bringing my own supply of salt & vinegar popcorn seasoning in my purse; my mom and I fell in love with the stuff at the Orpheum and they no longer carry it! And, since I totally have to get popcorn at least once during the festival, I must therefore carry my own. Luckily, I tracked down a huge supply of it from a local wholesaler for Mom’s birthday last year. She, being a good mom, happily shared the wealth.
Also new this season will be my iPod Shuffle. This will be lovely for standing in long lines and/or waiting for films to begin. I always carry a book, too (Film Festival or not!), but YOU try reading one of those inside a movie house! Even when the lights are ON, you can develop serious eyestrain trying to read in those cavernous spaces. And I will definitely need to reserve my eyesight for greater purposes.
Other essentials (for Film Fest Newbies):
- Comfortable Shoes. Seriously.
- Eyedrops. This means YOU, contact lens-wearers!
- Gum. Why am I the only person who ever has gum these days? Everyone wants it!
- The Film Fest schedule (for the answer to the question “What are we seeing again?” inevitably asked by the people you drag with you).
- CASH. You will need coffee, water and snacks. And perhaps cocktails. All require actual currency.
- A watch (or some other time-telling device).
- Your tickets.
Remember: plan carefully, don’t walk against any traffic lights, and DON’T FREAKING TALK DURING THE MOVIES and this will be a pleasant festival for all!
Enjoy the Show(s)!