Doug Cummings on the Los Angeles Film Festival

Doug Cummings on the Los Angeles Film Festival July 1, 2007

At FilmJourney.org, Doug Cummings is blogging about his discoveries at the Los Angeles Film Festival. And, as usual, his assessment of several films from around the world is fascinating.

As usual, Doug’s enthusiasm is contagious. I’m grateful for it. It’ll help me prioritize what to see when I actually have time and opporutnity to see a movie (if any of those films are ever actually accessible to folks who don’t go to film festivals).

[The rest of the original post basically amounted to a complaint about not having the time, money, or access required to see most of the films that win raves at festivals. But after a while, I looked around and said to myself, “You know, I’m not really interested in giving up what I’d have to give up in order to chase down every great film in the world. Things like my friendships, my writing, my great job, my meals, my sleep….” So I’ve come back to delete it. ]


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  • “In heaven, Netflix will be even better, and I‚Äôll catch up with hundreds and hundreds of great flicks that I‚Äôve missed.”

    Amen.

    So sad that the work of so many great artists will only be seen on the screens of film festivals one or two times. I dream of being an avid festival goer someday…

  • Clearly, I wasn’t entirely clear in my post. I’ve revised it a bit to try and clarify what was, I admit, a rather self-centered cry of “Woe is Me.”

    You’re right, of course: The SIFF is a growing, rewarding festival. For those who can actually take the time to see particular films during their fleeting appearances at the festival, it’s probably fantastic. I never meant to suggest that the SIFF opportunities don’t exist.

    But alas… the existence of SIFF doesn’t change my predicament –the festival could be happening in the house next door, and I still wouldn’t be free to plan my schedule around it, or line up the movies I want to see and check them off one by one. My current schedule has me leaving the house at 6AM, getting home for dinner at 7PM, and then writing until midnight in order to meet deadlines. I have to stick to movies that are available and accessible when I can actually carve out the time to see them. Some folks get off work and are free to go to see what they like. Me, I go to a second job, and if I do see a movie it’s probably because I’ve been assigned to review one by an editor.

    Heck, last weekend my high school class had a reunion just a couple of hours’ drive from my house. I could have seen dear friends that I’ve missed for almost two decades. But I stayed home to make progress on a book deadline. And to see my wife, because I hadn’t seen much of her during the week. It was the right choice. But that doesn’t mean I’m not jealous of those who got to be there.

    Anyway, all of this excessive self-explanation amounts to this: I’m glad folks like you are blogging about movies. It helps me know what to seize when time, opportunity, and resources all align and I suddenly have a chance to see something.

    In heaven, Netflix will be even better, and I’ll catch up with hundreds and hundreds of great flicks that I’ve missed. ;)

  • longpauses

    “But here‚Äôs hoping that some of the films from LAFF, and Cannes, and the upcoming Toronto fest, become accessible to the rest of us.”

    I hate to sound like a broken record, Jeffrey, but as you know Seattle is home to the largest film festival in the States. In just the Contemporary World Cinema program alone, SIFF showed 30 or 40 fantastic films, including most of the best films I saw in Toronto and San Francisco last year. In fact, several of the films that Doug wrote about in those posts you’ve linked to screened in your home town just a few weeks ago.

    I’m totally sympathetic to your situation — I also have to balance a relationship, full-time job, and other interests (so does Doug) — but it seems to me that you’re missing these films because you’re choosing to not see them (as you mention in this post). Accessibility isn’t the issue at all — not for you, at least. Try being a cinephile in East Tennessee. ;)