Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 Florida Film Festival - A Brief Preview

The arrival of spring is usually one I greet with dread. Plants in bloom make my sinuses go "boom". The Florida heat is beginning to rear its ugly head and this past winter--or should I say "winter"--was almost nonexistent. But another April means another Florida Film Festival. And another week-plus of movie watching and hopping from screen to screen or from theater to theater and sneaking in a meal in between films (or during films) and more movie watching.

In a lot of ways its exhausting, but adrenaline gets you through it. The adrenaline of the buzz outside of the Enzian Theater, where filmmakers and film lovers commingle. The adrenaline of walking into a screening and not knowing what's in store.

And part of the work is in the planning. Once the schedule is published, the task of fitting them all in is like putting a puzzle together. If two movies are playing on the first Saturday night, I have to figure out when one of them is playing again and schedule accordingly. Of course, that creates another conflict and then I'll have to figure out yet another time. And so on and so until I get some sort of a working template. I rarely stick to it. This year especially looks like it will be difficult. When reading synopses, I can usually decide which films I'd rather see. Not this time. They all look good. It'll be a challenge to work them all in.

Films from highly respected directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda and Lynn Shelton will be here this year as well as retrospectives of legendary masters Vittorio De Sica and John Cassavettes. Familiar FFF faces like Bill Plympton and David Zellner are back again and celebrities Barry Levinson and Cloris Leachman are special guests. But, for me anyway, the joy is in the discovery. It's in falling in love with a movie you know you would have never seen otherwise, perhaps never would have even heard of. And these names have yet to be decided.

So here's to another year of Film. Food. Fun.

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