Sunday, March 25, 2007

it's coming

probably no one noticed, but a link to the philadelphia film festival appeared to the right earlier this week. the festival begins only a couple of weeks from now. i'm still working my way through the list of films deciding what i will see.

like previous years, i'm getting a 10-film pass. i get it for free as a member of the philly film society. i briefly considered applying for a press pass. last year dave applied giving the url of his blog as his publication, and he got one. a press pass is effectively an unlimited entry pass--the holder can see as many films as he/she wants, and even gets into films that have "sold out." the venue always holds back a certain number of seats for the press even when all the tickets seem to be gone. but unlike dave's site, which is all about film, this one really isn't. so it didn't seem right for me to use this bullshit site to pose as some kind of film magazine. plus a 10-pass is almost the right size for me. even during the film festival i work full-time and simply can't see much more than 13-14 films (i usually end up buying a handful of individual tickets after i exhaust my 10-pass).

but i still need to figure out what 10+ films to see. i'm a little different than other festival goers. i'm not trying to see the next big thing first or meet any of the so-called stars. i just want to see the movies that i won't get a chance to see after the festival. that rules out the centerpiece screenings, which almost always have a distributor and will open commerically a couple of months down the line. (i also think that the centerpiece films are oftenworse than the average film fest film. see e.g. last year's centerpiece american dreamz).

but because i'm trying to avoid films that have distributors, that makes choosing the ones i will see much harder. i have a couple of criteria i use: i look at the list of the director's previous films, the plot description, the country of origin /language of the film (this year only has two arabic language films, unfortunately), the time slot and word of mouth. which is why i'm writing this post.

if anyone out there has any recommendations, let me know. if you've seen any of the films at other festivals, or heard something about them from someone who did, tell me. and if any local people want to see anything with me during the festival, leave a comment or drop me an email.