"Money was maliciously introduced in ancient times as a tool of enslavement" -
Michael Tellinger

"The present belongs to the future and future generations, and all old laws, religious and other, should be abrogated immediately. Free us!" - Vinay Gupta on Twitter

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"You find the strangest ways to be positive!" - Diane Duane, Wizards Abroad

Thursday, April 8, 2010

AIFF Day One - Ashland Independent Film Festival is underway! Reel Injun

As I've said elsewhere (and probably ad sonambulum if you aren't as fanatic about movies as I am) the film festival here is one of my favorite local events. For five days of the year the town goes movie mad and it's film talk nonstop everywhere you go. Here's something I wrote about it earlier.

I only had one ticket for today but it was an outstanding pick! Saw Reel Injun, a fabulously entertaining, moving, and insightful (any more blurby terms I can throw around here? I'm just a bit overwhelmed already) look at a century of film treatment of The People of this continent. (That nomenclature's something I learned from the movie. And I loved the point they made, that Europeans were originally tribal folk too, before we were colonized by this cultural virus that taught us to be something else, and maybe our fascination with The People is simply our way of trying to get back to who we really are. Makes sense to me!) You can see the trailer for the film on the AIFF link above or at the website for the film. This is one great movie. See it!

This screening was in the smallest theatre, the Varsity 5, down the alley in the back of the big theatres. Standing in line, the person behind me was one of the documentary screeners and she highly recommended three other titles out of all the ones she'd seen: 45365, Mount St. Elias,  and For the Love of Movies. Of the three I'll only be able to see one, the latter, as I have a ticket to that, and have conflicts with the other screening times. (Note to self: check Netflix or other, later.) Then in the theatre I sat next to an interesting friendly fellow film fan named Mary, who knows some of my neighbors, and she recommended some more documentaries. That's so Ashland! I'm in documentary heaven and will be through Monday - if I last that long. This afternoon I also saw the doctor again, who had some ideas about this cold/asthma thing that keeps hanging on, so I hope it helps me get through the movie marathon I'm throwing myself into.

That's the alley on the right - smaller theatres (AIFF photo on Facebook)

The weather is always unpredicable here, as we're in the mountains, and in April you just never know. As I left home, the sun was shining. When I got to the theatre ten minutes later, it started hailing! Just gently, though - more like snow of unusual mass. When the movie let out, the sun was out again. There's snow on the hills around town but the valley floor is free of it. At this point in the year, the trees are in blossom, the bulbs are blooming, and everything is really greening up - and it can be springlike and balmy one day and cold and rainy the next (with outbursts of bright sun in the middle). Bring and jacket and a hat!

Oh, and maybe a mention of city parking would be in order too, as long as I'm playing tour guide. You can almost always find a parking space on the street in Ashland within walking distance of just about anywhere, but my favorite place to park, being lazy and willing to spend literally a buck for convenience, is the city parking garage. This photo by Rory Finney on the AIFF site shows happy filmgoers (I should probably recognize them) in the alley where you line up for the smaller theatres. See the stairs, and the building above? That's city parking. Guess what it costs? $1 all day until 6 pm. $2 for a little longer, and the whopping charge of $3 until 2 a.m. Eat your heart out, LA! DC! New York! Even when all the theatres are running and full (remember, all the OSF theatres and the Cabaret are also within a block of here), you can usually get a spot there. And for more free parking, there's a good-sized city parking lot a couple of blocks in the opposite direction.

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