Mayhem, mayhaps, may be a strong word. But it felt like that getting in. Probably due to my lack of organisational ability. Possibly due to the fact that I failed to arrange my entry pass to the afterparty until today, and even that entailed agreeing to meet the festival publicist in the Martini Bar of the Westin Hotel at 10.30pm. Did I know what said publicist looks like? No. Did she know what I looked like? No. Did she turn up? As far as I can tell...no. But then, she had other things to worry about. Like the opening night afterparty.
End of story: I got in (did you expect anything less? Of course you did. I know I did. In fact I was halfway home when my editor SMSed me and said she'd have things sorted in a sec. But then, to quote that Modern Classic The Last Days of Disco, "I'm not that guy. I WILL take no for an answer.")
Do you care about my travails gaining entry? No. You only care to hear of one thing.
Supoib. Plenty of booze and the food was quality stuff. I didn't eat much since I'm currently in Cheap Eats reviewer mode and am keeping my stomach open for the task (ewwwww), but I sampled a bite or two and gave them two thumbs up. Admittedly, I spilled the stuffing of a mini-baguette which left a few pieces of diced carrot on my trouser leg, prompting my conversational partner to comment that I now looked as if I'd thrown up on myself (and a little bit on his shoe). Thanks. Just the impression I was trying to impart.
But two swift swipes of the hand and I am clean.
The event was officially black-tie. To me, black tie means brown tie. Since my favourite suit is a grody brown 70s number, it's a done deal. My portrait pic above features said suit.
Anyway, the MIFF opening was full to capacity with film folks too various to mention. My fave moment came when a colleague asked an actor "Weren't you in Blackrock?" To which he replied "No, you're thinking of _____. I'm ______ from Last Man Standing." Oops. She didn't know LMS. I thought it was funny because I'd just watched the show tonight (taped - is that wrong?).
Overall, though, the night confirmed what I've thought for a while: the film crowd are a difficult bunch. It's not that they're not nice people, or not genuine or interesting or whatever.
It's just that THEY'RE SO DRIVEN.
The theatre crowd, the musos, the artists, the dancers, the photographers, the writers (bless), the thinkers, the lovers, the dreamers and me...we do what we can, and sometimes that's a lot. But the film folk are a different breed. If you've ever worked on films, you know how much effort, ambition, persistence and sheer bloody-minded stubborn insanity is required to get to the final edit, and most of us just haven't got it in us. As for the actors, they've got to have the same qualities in order to sit around for eight hours before pulling off the performance of their careers, six times in succession, before sitting around for another two hours before the next take.
MIFF: I was stumbling around the ankles of giants here. Not to say I didn't have a great time. I did. But I don't know that I'll ever feel truly ruly comfortable around the film kids. Cinematophiles, yes. I can watch a film with the best of 'em. But the movers and shakers, whirring shutters and final cutters: you are a world I may never understand. Mayhem. Mayhaps.