Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sitting Still and Marching North

What a weekend! Thursday and Friday were wonderful, affording us the opportunity to catch up with a few of the Old School Crew, consume some excellent sushi, drink some cheap beer, and dig Mucca Pazza leading a crew down Columbia's Broadway. After a dinner of tikka masala on Friday, film watching began in earnest.

The festival was spread far and wide this year, employing several Stephens College venues in addition to the regular downtown spots. Several festival goers agreed that the organizers would do well to maintain the added venues in the future. Even with the re-opening of the Missouri Theatre, the extra spots would afford many more the opportunity to see films. Of course, that's one man's opinion.

Friday's first film Forbidden Lies was a fabulous start. The subject of the film, a woman who seems to blur the line between truth and fiction as a way of life, could practically be a poster child for the idea behind the entire film festival. It was great.

The second film of the night, Joy Division didn't do much for me. Overall, I felt like the premise of the film, that Joy Division's rise to fame was a driving force in the rebirth of their hometown of Manchester, was never really proved. I can't help being an English teacher, I guess.

Saturday, after some croissant and coffee at the new Uprise, it was full steam ahead, as Monkey and I took in six films from 10 am to midnight. The day's first film was haunting, captivating, tragic, and beautiful. Stranded, the story of the 1972 plane crash of a Uruguayan rugby team, which left them stuck high in the Andes for 72 days. They resorted to cannibalism to survive. The focus of the film, while telling the tale as it occurred, is really on the men today, some 35 years later, and how they have dealt with the tragedy. One particular moment in the film gave me chills. Monkey was moved to tears. Awesome.

Also on Saturday, we caught one of our least favorite films in the history of the festival. That's quite an honor, I guess. The Mosquito Problem, a quirky look at life in Belene, Bulgaria, was too long, too quirky, and bereft of focus. And, it appeared that Monkey and I were not alone in our assessment of this one, as people evacuated the Big Ragtag theatre (hooray for the new space!) in droves as the film wore on.

Sunday, we had plans for three more films, but after two, we decided it was a good idea to hit the road. It was a beautiful day, but the forecast was looking dim. We hit the road at about 3, got into some rain in KC, and drove through drizzles and torrents as we made our way up I-29.

Turning off of 29, we noticed ice hitting the windshield, and it got worse from there, as the ice turned to wind-driven snow that made Monkey and I realize how pioneers once got lost in these blizzards. It took us forty-five minutes to travel twenty miles, as semis blew by us, sloshing the car with torrents of slushy ice. About twenty miles east of Lincoln, the snow stopped, the roads cleared, adn it was like we had been driving in a bad dream. We made it home by 8:30, but the drive had wiped me out. It was a great weekend, with an exciting and harrowing end, and I shuffled up the stairs and went to bed.


comoprozac said...

I'm glad you two could come and hang out. Maybe we'll join you next time.

La Fashionista said...

That's a whole lot of sitting for a long weekend!

I'm glad you had a great time and made it home safely.


ATR said...


Thanks, of course, to you and R. Please do join us the next time we're in town. You're hospitality is greatly appreciated.