In theory: Going to a Film Festival

I’m pretty sure my list of “things to do before I die” is close to a mile long. I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve some of the things on the list, and others I’m not sure I’ll ever get to do. But one thing I would like very much to do is attend a film festival (hopefully as a critic, because that would be fun!). In a perfect world (where I could afford to go anywhere at anytime), one film festival I would love to attend is the Anthem Film Festival being held next month (July 19-22) in Las Vegas. Attending this festival would actually kill two birds with one stone as it were, because not only do I want to attend a film festival, I also want to visit Las Vegas at least once in my life. While I can’t actually attend, I thought it would be fun to think about what I would (or would not) do if I did get to go.

For me the most important thing about the film festival would be selecting which films to go see, and that can be pretty overwhelming because film festivals often have a great selection to choose from. But like any festival event, it’s impossible to see EVERYTHING being offered, at some point you just have to miss out on something. So how would I pick? Well, I would start by scanning the list of what’s available to see if there’s anything that belongs in one of my favorite film genres. Failing that, I would do a search by subject matter and see if any of the topics being explored is one I have a personal interest in. In this case, I have a hit with Re-Evolution, a film that is described as “combining V for Vendetta with the philosophy of Atlas Shrugged.” This film would be at the top of my list because I have an interest in subject matter of this type. Other films would be selected based on this choice, with a secondary list made of films I am merely curious about.

I would not actually bring a lot of materials along with me. I travel with the philosophy that the more you bring, the more you have to worry about losing while you’re away. For a film festival, I would probably be content to take a notebook and some pens, to jot down any notes or thoughts regarding the films I’d seen. I would also use the notebook to write down any questions I might have once the film is over.

As for any “Dos and don’ts” regarding what to ask in a Q&A, I confess I can’t think of anything you shouldn’t do (besides asking questions that are inappropriate or in bad taste). I’m sure the best way to spend a Q&A is to listen intently to what is being asked, and if there’s a point in the film that you really want clarified, don’t be afraid to go to the microphone and ask, you may not get the chance later.

For anyone travelling there, it is always good to look up travel deals like those found here. Many times (but not always), airlines and hotels will have discounts available if you are travelling to a big event, especially if you can arrange to be travelling as part of a group.

And that is a small taste of what I would do I went to a film festival. Hopefully I WILL get to go someday and afterwards I’ll get to share about all the wonderful films I saw. Hope you enjoyed!

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“He’s not bad, just conflicted”: My crush on Tom Hiddleston’s Loki

This is my entry for the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Reel Infatuation, I’m happy to be participating for the second year!!

I have this habit of developing crushes on villains. I’m not sure why, I think it’s because so many times the villain is the most interesting character in the story, he has layers to him, and interesting motivations. And then there’s a character like Loki, brought to brilliant life by Tom Hiddleston, who is another case entirely.

From the moment he first travelled through the Tesseract in The Avengers (my first experience with the character), I was in love with Loki of Asgard. The would-be King of Asgard/Midgard/whatever he can conquer is equal parts menace and charm. He’s also not afraid to get his hands dirty (unlike some villains) as he doesn’t hesitate to attack a man to get his eyeball (long story). But please don’t get the idea that I have a crush on Loki because he does all of these evil things. What really attracts me to him is the fact that, for a villain, he really isn’t evil at all. In fact, the more I learn about Loki (as Tom Hiddleston has played him), the more sympathetic I am to his cause.

Take, for example, Hiddleston’s performance in the first Thor film. We (the audience) know from the start that Loki is actually a Frost Giant disguised as an Aesir. But Loki doesn’t know this until deep into the film, and once he knows the truth, you can tell it just DESTROYS him inside, to realize that he isn’t actually Odin’s son, that he actually belongs to a race that every last warrior in Asgard is raised from birth to despise. And seeing Loki in such pain, I want to reach through the screen, comfort him and slap Odin upside the head for being such an idiot in favoring meathead Thor the way he does. It’s no wonder Loki has issues. And I know all about struggling through issues, so I am very much attracted to a man who suffers through similar things.

I hope this makes sense, why I have such a crush on Loki. He can be so charming, mischievous and it strikes me that he is the kind who does not give his affections (or trust) lightly. And at the same time, he is also not afraid to go after what he believes is rightfully his. He has his convictions (I don’t care what Coulson says), and I admire that in a man.

I’m very sad that Thor: Ragnarok will be Hiddleston’s last outing as Loki (unless he’s been persuaded to change his mind. I’m very nervous that he’s going to be killed for real this time. Hopefully Loki gets a happy ending for once.

And that’s my crush on Loki 🙂 I hope you enjoyed it!

Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 3

Unbelievably the last day of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon is already here! Thank you to everyone who has participated thus far, enjoy day 3!!

MovieRob: The Karate Kid (2010)

The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Christina Wehner: Sneakers (1992)

Listening to Film: The Rocketeer (1991)

Tranquil Dreams: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Old School Evil: The Land Before Time (1988)

See also:

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 1!!

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 2!!

The magic of James Horner: Casper (1995)

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the blogathon so far. Today is the last day and here is my contribution. Enjoy!

It’s been two years since James Horner was ripped away from us, his passing left a void that may never be filled. He had a gift for creating magical themes that stuck in the head for hours after the movie was over. And one of my favorite examples from the mid-90s was the main theme from Casper (1995).

Loosely based on the comics character Casper the Friendly Ghost, Casper follows a paranormal therapist, Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter “Kat” as they travel from state to state in an attempt to make contact with the spirit of Harvey’s deceased wife Amelia. The pair come to Casper’s former home when the spoiled heiress who inherited the home wants the ghosts (Casper and his uncles) removed so she can claim the “treasure” hidden inside.

Casper’s Lullaby

Casper’s theme, listed on the soundtrack as “Casper’s Lullaby”, is a haunting piano melody that comes to the forefront particularly when Casper remembers the events of his death, and also during the Halloween dance when Kat realizes she’s dancing with Casper (who’s alive for one night).

How Casper Died

It’s such a haunting melody, one that highlights the tragedy of Casper’s short life, and the fact that he “didn’t go where he was supposed to” but stayed behind instead. Actually, ever since Horner passed away, I’ve had a hard time listening to this theme, as it reminds me that one of the greatest film composers is gone before his time. I hope you enjoy listening to Casper’s Lullaby, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blogathon today.

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 2!!

The blogathon is off to a rousing start!! Thanks to everyone who has posted so far, I’m looking forward to seeing what is posted today for day 2:

Sean Munger: Postmodern patriotism: Howard’s “Apollo 13” as history and mythology

MovieRob: Clear and Present Danger (1994)

See also:

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 1!!

2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 1!!

It’s finally here, the 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon is here! Even before I woke up this morning day 1 is off to a good start with two amazing entries already. As I see new entries come up, I will add them to this list below. Enjoy!!

Plain, Simple Tom Reviews: The Land Before Time (1988)

Movierob: The Pelican Brief (1993)

Listening to Film: “Nautical but Nice”: James Horner and the Music for Wrath of Khan

Listening to Film: “The Underappreciated” (Star Trek III)

Reelweegiemidget: Willow (1988)

New developments with the Han Solo film

Wow, things have gotten weird with the Han Solo film!! First came the news that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been let go from the project due to “creative differences” with the powers that be at Disney and Lucasfilm. As if that wasn’t shocking enough (having two directors let go from such a high-profile project during filming no less), today the news has come down that their replacement will be none other than Ron Howard himself!!

That’s right. Ron Howard is officially directing a Star Wars film. And…I’m not sure how I feel about that. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite films are directed by Ron Howard: Apollo 13, Cocoon, A Beautiful Mind, all of these are films I enjoy. In fact, it is entirely feasible that Howard will do a fantastic job and the Han Solo film will go off without a hitch a la Rogue One. And yet…his recent efforts do not inspire me with confidence. I mean there was Inferno (2016) which hit theaters with a dull *thud.* And then there was In the Heart of the Sea the year before that, and it didn’t go over well either. I’m not saying Howard can’t do it, but I don’t feel as confident about the film now.

What do you think about Ron Howard being chosen as the new director of the Han Solo film? Is the project doomed? Or are we all fretting over nothing? Let me know in the comments below. Tomorrow marks day 1 of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon!! Don’t forget to tag my blog at the start of the post (this post is part of the Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Film Music Central) so I can include you in the daily summary that I will keep updated as best I can 🙂

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