I got almost zero sleep that night, my mind wandering between reviews, story ideas and random memories. I woke up after 10am, which meant there was no way I was making my 11am movie and that I didn’t need to see my in-fill movie at 1:30pm either. I did, however, have a movie at 4pm (or at least they called it a “movie”).
I went to buy tickets for that film (Shunka), I told the woman behind the table that I wasn’t sure which other film I was seeing that day, “but it was either Small Pond or-“
“See Small Pond!” the man in line next to me said, pulling a ticket out of a large envelop. “It’s a good film – I know, I directed it. Take it, it’s your lucky day, tell your friends.”
I cross the street, but the volunteer organizer out front says I’m “not cleared” to go into the theater yet (unless I had an “All-Access” pass…oh, right), but I was free to go wait in the “public” line with the rest of the unwashed masses. Fortunately, they let us rather quickly, and prodded us through the lobby just as swiftly before collecting our tickets in a massive bottleneck at the auditorium door.
I find a seat near the back of the half-full theater, and just as the introduction was about to begin a young man comes up to me and asked if the seat next to me is taken. I say no, and he then tells me I have to move over so he can sit with his girlfriend, actually one more so she sit with her friend (who didn’t show up until 5 minutes into the film). I was half surprised he didn’t ask me to boot the lady on the aisle too.
The festival organizer comes forward and gives some stupid spiel about “memberships,” “donations” and “All-Access” passes before turning the floor over to the director who simply said: “Enjoy the film.”
I didn’t, but I did get dinner afterwards and that wasn’t too bad.
The line outside the theater was longer than earlier, but it moved relatively quickly once they let us in. It turns out the show was completely sold out and I was able to find one of the last remaining seats before the festival director came forward to give the same spiel about the importance of “memberships,” donations” and passes. He then passes his mike to the film’s director who thanked us for coming and hoped we enjoyed his movie.
The movie was called Small Pond and it was about a directionless girl who hates her life in Columbia, Missouri (pop: 108,500), and all I could think about during the movie was if she was that unhappy there she should come to Shamokin (pop: 8,009) – that would show her.
The movie ended and I went back to my apartment on the other side of the highway to begin writing my reviews of the day, and continued writing well into the morning.