Saturday, October 2, 2010

The 2nd Annual Milwaukee Film Festival Day 9

A new day and a new venue - today is the first day I'm going to the Ridge in New Berlin to see a couple of movies, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not sure why I have a dislike for this theater, but I try to avoid it in favor of seeing films at other theaters if possible. When I got there I discovered that the film festival was relegated to the back theaters which are kind of small. Perhaps they were looking at crowd control, and that putting the two screens at the back of the theater would solve that, but then why is the North Shore so much more successful and their MFF theaters are in the front?

Turns out that for all of my grousing about the venue changes since the reincarnation of the MFF, going to the Ridge made me yearn for the comfort of the North Shore, even with the crowds and travel time investment. While the number of people there was really great for the festival and was very encouraging, the lines were interminable and I could tell people were starting to get annoyed. With several older people in line who looked like they needed a place to sit, there was one small bench in the entire wing, and for a time it was taken up by MFF volunteers. Seating didn't occur until about 10 minutes before the start of the show, and once in there, the auditorium was kind of small. This was fine for the first film I saw, Who is Harry Nilsson? because it was at 4:30 and there weren't more than 2/3 of the theater's capacity there, but the subsequent film I saw, Lemmy, had a really good crowd. Even larger was when we got out of Lemmy and saw the line for the Date Night shorts that almost reached from one end of the hallway to the doors on the other end. It was pretty nuts, and while I was on the fence about staying for a third movie that night, knowing the size of the crowd and the discomfort of the seats after a while I decided to head out early. I have three films to see there Sunday so that should be kind of interesting, particularly Metropolis, since it's 2 1/2 hours long. I'm finding myself actually dreading it. I wish I were spending my last day at the North Shore instead, but I promised my boyfriend, Chris and one of my close friends, Jay, I'd see it with them.

Speaking of Jay, it was because of him that I went to see Lemmy tonight, and it was so much fun experiencing a MFF film with a friend. Though surrounded by an audience, so much of the MFF feels solitary to me since I see all of the films by myself, then come home and type about it on my laptop. When I get home every night, Chris asks me how the movies are and I can pretty much only give him a one word answer because I just don't feel like talking about it, frankly. Eventually, after mellowing out at home a bit, I sometimes disclose a little more information, but not much. So it was fun to sit with Jay in the theater and hang out, especially since he and I egg each other on with laughter, which there was plenty of during Lemmy.

Two more days to go. I think I'm going to be watching the other Netflix movies tomorrow in lieu of going to the theater, and I'm done obsessing over the number of films I see this year. To evoke one of my least favorite sayings of all time: "It is what it is."

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