Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cinequest - Day 1 - The First Picture Show

If every day in San Jose is like yesterday, I think I'll arrive home in a body bag. We landed in San Francisco and then hopped on a train for San Jose, which is about an hour's drive south. During the ride, Katie showed me a stack of pages that looked like schoolwork, but turned out to the be Blood Car translated into French. We're required to subtitle the film for the European Independent Film Festival. The grandmother of an old boyfriend of Katie's is French and did 95% of the translation, including some of the obscenities. As with any translation, some phrases don't work in another language, e.g. Denise's line "I'm all the f**k out."
I know a little French and my accent hasn't suffered too much since my last French class, with Mon. Eric Le Calvez. I practiced a Watkin's monologue and one of Archie's freakouts in French. We videotaped it, so hopefully you'll see it soon.

Believe it or not, the wireless in our hotel, IN SILICON VALLEY, is sub-par. It's also a little bit of hike to the venues, but we'll make do. Alex and I checked in at the Cinequest HQ at the Montgomery Hotel and received our Filmmaker Passes, which entitled us to all-access privileges to screenings, parties, forums, etc. They fine folks at Cinequest also gave us a goodie bag. Check out the schwag. And yes, in the top right corner are two small wheels of brie with a knife and crackers thoughtfully included.

OUR WORLD PREMIERE WILL BE AT THIS THEATER! OUR WORLD PREMIERE WILL BE AT THIS THEATER! OUR WORLD PREMIERE WILL BE AT THIS THEATER! We snuck in to take a look at the place. That's Mr. Orr on stage doing his impression of a director of an indy film that has just premiered at Cinequest 17. Looking at this picture on the right, I can almost here the applause. And I'm not being vain. There is a little buzz about Blood Car in San Jose. Our capsule review from the Metro(a creative loafing style rag)is in print with a STAR next to it. If there's any doubt about this being the right place for our film, take a look at this advertisement on the side of the light rail car.

But there is something darkly ironic about this town that I must address. As Alex and I walked around, we noticed two or three old movie houses, complete with marquees and old timey box offices that no longer showed the films we hold so dear. Instead, they play the bump and grind music we hold so dear and have names like glo as opposed to The California, the only old time movie house that still seems to show movies. It's like our Fox Theater only smaller. But it has an organist. It saddened me a bit.

But once we strolled into The California that night for the opening night of Cinequest 17, that all faded away. TV crews were everywhere. Sold out show. Beautiful theater. Unfortunately, the opening night film, The Namesake, had some rather serious sound issues during projection which marred an otherwise magical experience. We don't know if it was something with the print or the sound system, but it riled up the crowd a few times. However, at the after party, no one seemed to dwell on it too much, but instead looked ahead to the unveiling of so many eclectic films. If I were to pick a favorite part of the day I would have to say it was the following. As we waited for the opening night film to begin, Cinequest organizers showed a couple of trailers for sponsors and the festival itself. In the latter trailer, which featured the festival director talking about the Cinequest mission, clips from no more than four or five films were shown. One of those films was Blood Car. Sold out house, captive audience, clips of Blood Car. Tony, Julie, Alex, Katie and myself could hardly contain ourselves. Katie said I was blushing. Maybe, but it could have been the lighting.


John Grubb said...

That's just great, man.
Kick some ass!

Amber said...

I just read this. I hope you went to Cinebar while you were in San Jose, because it's about the only place I ever was when I lived there for 2 months. I used to work for Campus MovieFest and we had our California finale at the California Theatre, and we had a lot of sound issues as well. You know, I just thought of some other wonderful places in San Jose, after thinking about your mention of Glo. Did you hit up ANGELS? I never went in, but it seemed tres classy.