Saturday, February 06, 2010

One Bullock I'm Glad They Didn't Keep Out of Santa Barbara

This is my fourth year of covering the red carpet arrivals at the Santa Barbara Film Fest. As I was getting ready for Saturday evening's tribute to Sandra Bullock at the Arlington Theater, my daughter, who is assisting me in covering this year's festival, asked if I was going to wear my bow tie. "No, the tie is getting retired," I told her.

"Are you going to wear that beret on your head?," she asked. (The look on her face told me that she didn't want me to wear it.) "The beret stays," I replied.

Sandra Bullock on the red carpet last night


I got some good mileage out of the bow tie trick at past Film Fests, most notably getting Jennifer Hudson and Olivia Wilde to straighten it for me. And that was before Wilde hit it big on House. But the tie has done its time. And besides, it was always a big hassle to tie it. So this year, I lined up on the red carpet, sans tie.

The lack of a tie didn't spoil my luck in getting to ask a question of Bullock as she made her way down the red carpet. I was curious to know if there was a particular moment when she knew when her role in the Blindside was an Oscar worthy role? "Never, never had that. Have you seen my projects?" She went on to say that no one wanted to make The Blindside and she turned it down for over half a year. I also asked her if there was any news about her missing dog. Sadly, the dog is still missing. You can view her full answer in the YouTube video below. (Thanks to my daughter Taryn for shooting the video.)

Standing on the carpet wearing a body hugging black dress, Bullock had a very Jessica Rabbit like quality to her. She was the perfect red carpet honoree. She arrived early, stayed late, signed lots of autographs and gave many interviews in between.

Photos of Friday night's red carpet arrivals, taken by Dan Seibert, are posted at Edhat.

* * *

It's another full day at the Film Fest on Saturday, culminating with Avatar director James Cameron receiving the Lucky Modern Master Award at 8 pm at the Arlington. Presenting the award to Cameron will be none other than the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarznegger.

As for films tomorrow, here's what I recommend.

Ashkan, The Charmed Ring and Other Stories, this film is from Iran and is in black and white. According to Film Fest Director Roger Durling, it's a film that you have to stick with. You may be baffled at the beginning, however, the storytelling will prove to be wonderful. Screens at 8:15 am at the Metro 4.

Father and Guns, billed as a "classic comedy cop thriller, was recommended to me by Alex Hentloff, who writes for CASA magazine. (BTW, CASA has very good coverage of the Film Fest so be sure to pick one up. They're free and come in handy for attendees of the Fest.)

The Secret Of Kells. This animated film from Ireland is reputed to be stunning. Screens at 10:15 am at the Metro 4.

The Lovely Bones. This is a feature you will easily be able to catch once the Film Fest is over, but it does play today at 1:30 pm at the Metro 4. One of the stars is Stanley Tucci who, if I remember correctly, is scheduled to appear following the screening of the film.

University of Nuclear Bombs is a documentary by local filmmaker Joshua King. It explores the connection of the University of California to the development of the weapons of mass destruction. Screens at 4:45 pm at the Metro 4.

In addition to films, the always popular screenwriters panel will take place at 11 am at the Lobero. This year's panel includes, Mark Wahl (Hurtlocker) Nancy Meyers, (It's Complicated) Jason Reitman, (Up In The Air), Geoffrey Fletcher, (Precious) and Peter Doctor (Up).

The full Film Festival schedule is posted at Edhat.

Remember, if you want to stay dry, stay inside the theaters.
© 2010 by Craig Smith and