Sunday, January 30, 2005
I saw some wonderful films -- most notably Ryan, an animated short in which the characters' emotions and psychoses are physically embodied, and Brothers, a Danish feature film about, among other things, post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers and how it impacts families and, in turn, nations. But what was most wonderful was just to luxuriate in the experience of seeing films. My husband and I used to go to movies all the time - there were a couple of years in college when it seemed a new, interesting independent film was out every week - but in the past few years we've gotten increasingly picky, less about what we rent (especially now that he's caught the Netflix bug), more about what we'll actually venture out to a theater and plunk down $9 to see. In part it's because of the cost, and in part because there are less compelling independent movies playing in local theaters, but also, we'd just forgotten how much fun it can be to try something, and enjoy the experience regardless of whether the film joins the ranks of our top 10 lists.
The festival also renewed my appreciation for the passion of the artists who make films, and for the passion of independent film lovers - what a joy to sit in a crowded theater full of people who've trekked from all over the country to come watch films together hour after hour, day after day. It's like finding Tranquil Space or Washington Improv Theater here in D.C. - when you find a corner of the world occupied by people who seek what you seek, or are lit up by what lights you up, there is a feeling of belonging and excitement that has to be one of the best things in the world.