Saturday, January 29, 2011

Escape From The Red Carpet

In five years of attending the Santa Barbara Film Festival, I don't think I've ever done what I did last night: Skipped a tribute to a movie star at the Arlington and gone to see one of the films being shown at another venue instead.

Annette Bening on the red carpet

Photo credit: Chuck Cagara /

Rather than seeing Oscar nominee Annette Bening walk the red carpet and receive the American Rivera Award, I went to the Metro 4 for the 7:20 pm showing of Gigola.

Sitting in the darkened theater, watching this French Film with English subtitles gave me a deja vu feeling. I was transported back to the old Nu Art theater in West Los Angeles watching one of their art house offerings. If only the popcorn were rolled back to 1968 prices.

The official online Film Fest guide takes 156 words to describe the plot of this film about a charismatic and adventurous young woman who becomes a kind of gigolo for women only. I can describe it in three: Ooh la la.

Think of The L Word, set in Paris, 50 years ago. You get the idea.

Earlier, outside of the Metro where the audience was queuing up while waiting to be admitted, a panhandler was working the line. He had a sign that said "Help Me Stop Robbing Banks." He was asking a man in line if he liked Woody Allen and then claimed that his panhandling shtick was like "Woody Allen non-stop." Nothing like a panhandler who's seen Take The Money and Run.

Wonder if the guy will return for Fiesta dressed as "The Frito Bandito?"

More Film Fest Photos by Chuck Cagara in this year's photo gallery.

© 2011 by Craig Smith and