I am consumed by the Raindance Film Festival. Apologies if this is boring to anyone, but there isn't much else going on in my life at the moment - my existence has been taken over by indie films, indie actors, indie directors and indie producers. I'm still going to work during the day, but my evenings have been all about the festival.
Wednesday night - I was working the festival box office in Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue. This Cineworld is located in the lower reaches of hell, aka the top floor of the Trocadero Centre. The Trocadero Centre is so awful - the tacky shops, the flashing lights and infinite noise of the arcades of the inappropriately named Fun World. In the midst of this, is an independent film festival - two worlds have collided!
Thursday night - I was ushering at the Rex. The Rex is a private club and screening room (it used to be called The Other Cinema, which always led to confusion). It is plush, comfortable and a brilliant setting for the festival, even if the beer is stupidly expensive. So I'm ushering, but its a private party for Delta Airlines, so there isn't much to do. I hold the door open, smile at people, make sure the screening goes ok. The screening is the 5 short films that are up for the Best UK Short prize at the festival. As is often the way with shorts, they were a mixed bag. The first one Cherries was my favourite, a dark vision of the not-too-distant future where the continuing war in Iraq means schoolboys are conscripted into the armed forces.
After the screening, there wasn't anything to do other so I ended up sat with a mixture of Raindance volunteers & staff and associated film types. Actually, Thursday ended up being a prequel to Friday as I was talking with Alex Holdridge, the writer and director of "In Search of a Midnight Kiss" and Mike Mongillo and Jason Alan Smith, the writer/director and actor respectively from "Being Michael Madsen", which were the two films I saw on the Friday night. I don't expect anyone to have heard of any of these people yet, but if Alex Holdridge doesn't become a famous director, there is no justice in the world, but I'm getting ahead of myself here - I'll come onto the films later.
As I may have mentioned before, I suffer from almost crippling shyness at times, so finding myself in these situations where I need to make conversations with total strangers is incrediby hard for me, but that aside it was a surprisingly fun night. The bizarre conversations we had in our group included the following:
the size of Jude Law's penis, politics & apathy, Ethan Hawke, why big breasts are unnecessary, the smoking ban, what's wrong with documentary makers, suicide, Michael Madsen