Friday, January 25, 2008

A Dark And Stormy Night at the Film Fest?

It was an eerie feeling as I walked up a completely darkened 1200 and 1300 blocks of State Street a little before 10 pm last night.

Miraculously, the block where the Arlington Theater stood wasn't affected by the power outage what had struck parts of downtown and had closed other businesses early. The opening of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival had gone on as scheduled and the large group of attendees was ready to mingle and party.

Photo Courtesy Daily Sound/Janelle Holcombe

Of course to mingle we had to talk over the music of a live band that had set-up under a tent that had been erected in the middle of State Street in front of the Arlington. Someone told me the group's name but I couldn't hear it over the din of the music.

Film Fest Director Roger Durling continuing his tradition from last year of changing the color of his hair everyday during the film fest showed up for opening night as a blond.

(Photos of opening night are posted at Edhat.)

A hot dog and a beer was my refreshment of choice at the party last night. Heinekin is one of the festival's sponsor this year so the beer was free and went along well with the foot-long hot dogs that were served in sesame seed buns by the folks from Lettuce B. Frank, a restaurant on lower State Street.

"Cute" was the word most used to describe last night's opening film Definitely Maybe when I asked people at the party how the movie was. One veteran film fest attendee went so far as to say that it was the best movie to ever open up the film festival. Another person told me that while it may not have been the movie of the century there was certainly nothing about the movie that you couldn't like.

Biggest hit with the press on the red carpet last night: Abigail Breslin, one of the stars of the movie. You may remember her from "Little Miss Sunshine" or "No Reservations."

Noticeably absent from the press line for the red carpet arrivals before the film showing: a news crew from KEYT, one of the festival's sponsors this year.

Noticeably absent as a sponsor this year: The Santa Barbara News-Press.

Noticeably absent from L.A. Times publisher David Hiller's description of what he is looking for in a new editor: any mention of the word "ethics."

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