Transitioning from the Sarasota Film Festival to the 31st Atlanta Film Festival equates to a car decelerating. Overall, AFF is much smaller than SFF, but it promised to be much bigger for Blood Car. It's like being Harry Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life and Atlanta is our Bedford Falls. Friends and family, colleagues and enemies are slated to arrive in great numbers, enthused and raving for the Atlanta Premiere of Blood Car. True, we've showed the film here before, but that was an exclusive cast and crew screening. I am proud that we are part of this festival.
Arriving home from one festival during the spring of another also brought home certain realities about the film festival circuit. Initially, I marked my calender with a couple of films every day, but I quickly had to drop that to 1/day. I was festival-ed out and I was forced to act like an adult and balance responsibilities with movies, the north and south poles of a magnet. I picked up my pass on Sunday afternoon, April 22. No swag at this festival, but the pass was the flash kind - you flash it to a volunteer and they admit you to the theater.
At the registration table, Linda B. commented, "Did you hear about the blimp?" I said, "Blimp? No." She proceeded to describe to me one of the more expensive of AFF's promotional materials which was a sleek, blue, inflatable, helium-filled mini-blimp(not a zeppelin, which is a rigid airship) with the festival's name and dates on it. I inquired about it and she said it was stolen off the top of a nearby business(pictured here) in protest of the AFF's screening of Blood Car. Obviously, I was in some state of disbelief about this, given it was our first encounter with any sort of protest against the film based on politics. These anti-Blood Car protesters also taped their theft and posted it on youtube. Originally, these former enduring freedomers planned on organizing a protest in which they would "keep people out of the theater by force if necessary." Apparently, he thought more drastic actions were necessary. The orchestrator of the entire operation is a man named Ron, who writes a blog entitled, 'Are you the enemy?'. His motto is a variation on a well-known one, going back as far as the New Testament which reads "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." Ron's reads, "Either you're with us or...you're the enemy." Now President Bush has said this a few times, but I think the most famous use of this phrase is in the George Lucas film Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Anakin Skywalker, later adopting the Sith name Darth Vader, utters the line to Obi-Wan, to which he cleverly responds, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." What is my point? Is George W. Bush a Sith lord? Is the man who stole the blimp a Sith lord? I'll post this evidence on a Star Wars message board and let them be the ultimate arbiters of this case. The event really galvanized members of the AFF and the Atlanta Film community and many other anonymous-ers. It's actually an interesting discussion to read. As I wrote this, I read that the blimp has been returned. I'm a little disappointed he caved in to good sense.
I've kept up my 1 film a day pledge and lucked out so far with winners. They are: Killer of Sheep, Hannah Takes the Stairs, Great World of Sound, and Zoo. I've also been riding Archie's bike to the theater almost every day. It's on the left. Alex's work postering the town has paid off as people comment again and again about seeing posters at a mishmash of businesses. One particular business down the street from me flaunts a poster at a busy intersection and it must have closed down right after the poster went up. I hope the poster manifests itself for months to come, even as the building is demolished.
Yesterday, Alex, Adam, Katie and I were invited for an interview on Emory University's internet radio station, WMRE. Clever, huh. Our host DJs were Rueben M.(left) and Ed. M(right), two young students filled with verve. We gave Rueben and Ed t-shirts and posters, a caller two free tickets to Thursday's screening, and anybody who was listening an earful of vitriolic, off color jokes. Since very few people seemed to be listening and it was their last broadcast before the semester's conclusion, the floodgates blew open and the rest was like a bad dream. I had a wonderful time and laughed quite a bit. When we told our hosts about the teen who fainted during the film in Sarasota, Rueben commented that the last film to do that was The Passion of the Christ. Another club BC can add below its photo in the 2007 yearbook.
There are approximately 700 seats available for seeing Blood Car at the AFF. Tomorrow, Thursday, you have less than 350 opportunities to see the film. Friday, you also have less than 350 opportunities to see the film. Come out and support our film, independent film, the Atlanta Film Festival and most of all...cinema. I hope to see you with one of these in your hands tomorrow. (Note: Hey Coca-Cola. This isn't They Live. Give it a rest.)