Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where to Find Peace and Quiet at the Film Fest

Yesterday at the Santa Barbara Film Fest I got the opportunity to boldly go where few bloggers have ever gone before. The hospitality suite.

Sitting off of the lobby of the Santa Barbara Hotel, which is the official film fest headquarters for the festival's 10 day run, the hospitality suite is open to filmmakers and platinum pass holders.

What was going on in there? Well, not a whole hell of a lot. If you like green tea, there's plenty of that for free as well as veggie munchies and dip. There are complimentary copies of Variety as well as Casa Magazine. There's also a couple of lap tops available to use to check your email.

No need to carry an extra bag to sneak out sackful of festival swag. There's not a whole lot to be had.

They do have nice big comfy couches though. And having stayed out late the previous night, attending the after party for Javier Bardem, the idea of a nap on the couch sounded pretty good. Then a platinum pass holder walked in, took a look at me and turned to the volunteer staffing the suite and asked, "who let the homeless guy in here?"

The other day Hollywood columnist and film critic, Jefferey Wells, who's spending most of the film fest up here, questioned the inclusion of a clip from the 1977 movie Demon Seed in last Friday's tribute to Julie Christie. Wells called it Christie's "all-time worst film."

When I was hanging out in the hospitality suite, I got an opportunity to meet Karolina Tuovinen, who assists director Paul Fagen in editing the tribute reels.

I asked her about the inclusion of a clip from Demon Seed.

She said the goal is to have a broad representative sample of the actor's body of work and that the Demon Seed represented the sole "B" picture that Christie had done in her career. Hence, it made the cut.

Personally, I would have rather seen a clip of Christie and Donald Sutherland in the clinch from "Don't Look Now."

After a visit to the Hospitality Suite it was off to the Arlington to see the 1 pm showing of what must be one of the most powerful feature films to be shown at this year's film fest, The Counterfeiters. It's the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history set up by the Nazis who used concentration camp inmates to carry it out under the threat of death.

Over at the Lobero on Tuesday evening a contingent of enthusiastic young women made up part of the crowd that packed the house to see Ryan Gosling receive the Independent Spirit award.

Following the Q & A and the showing of clips, Craig Gillespie, director of "Lars and the Real Girl," came out to make the presentation.

At one point he started fumbling through the index cards on the podium and said that "he was getting ahead of his notes." From the opposite side of the stage where he was seated Gosling piped up, "can't you read what I wrote?"

My suggestions for today.

One Bad Cat, 1:45PM Metro Four

We Played Marbles 3:30PM Victoria Hall

Santa Barbara Shorts 4:00PM Marjorie Luke

Gone Baby Gone 4:15PM Metro Four

Dasepo Naughty Girls 7:00PM Metro Four

Virtuosos 2008 8:00PM Lobero

For a complete listing of today's film fest schedule go to Edhat.

* * *

Postponed: the oral argument before a California Appellate Court in the News-Press' lawsuit against Susan Paterno, author of the American Journalism Review article, examining the paper's melt down. Originally scheduled for yesterday afternoon it has been put off to March by agreement of the parties.

Has Wendy McCaw ever met a postponement that she didn't like?

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