Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ann Arbor Film Festival - Day 3 and 4

My third day was nearly as eventful as the prior two. The patriarch of my lodgings made his debut and he was an inquisitive and kind man with whom I shared a breakfast of omelets and apple pie. At least I think it was omelets. This day marked the last I would see of my dear Google friends whom I would miss terribly. As a substitute for their great company, I turned to the big white screen and a Guy Maddin picture titled Brand Upon the Brain, which I enjoyed despite it's cloudy narrative. His devotion to the aesthetic of the silent film is tantamount to worthy of a statue in a plaza somewhere. After that I wandered around until the Awards Programs began and I skipped in and out of those, rewatching some films for a second time like My Olympic Summer and watching others for the first time.
My return came on an early Monday morning and I joined Transpo Coordinator Rick for the drive to the Detroit airport, for which I was very grateful. En route, we stopped to pick up another filmmaker who was traveling out the same morning named Juan Camillo, who hailed from Colombia. He proved my theory that Colombians are some of the nicest people on this Earth. As we trekked the 45 minutes to greater Detroit where the planes dock, Rick gave us a unadulterated history of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. He is a board member and has been involved with the festival, along with his wife, for many years. He told us, once upon a time, that the Ann Arbor Film Festival would only accept submissions if they were on 16mm. Imagine John Lennon...you could only submit to the festival if your film was on 16mm. That is what I call dedication and it's a lost way of life. He related to us the struggle AAFF recently endured to stay alive despite politicians pulling their funding for reputed 'controversial' programming. Read about the heroics here. His conclusion to this story is as touching as the end of It's a Wonderful Life and it just goes to show that no man, or festival, is a failure who has friends. I didn't hear any bells in the car ride, but damn it I should have. So, Rick and his wife, since they have no children, have willed all of their assets to the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Enough said. With passion and dedication like that, it seems nearly impossible for a festival of this kind to disappear. I was so moved I nearly lost my composure riding in that SUV. Generosity is the currency of our age. Here! Here!

1 comment:

peter said...

you are simply lucky guy.