It’s become a ridiculous struggle to get me out of bed every morning. I’m not entirely sure if it’s just because I’m simply going to bed later or if there’s an underlying problem with my drive, my lust for life, my joie de vivre, if you will. But it seems like every time I wake up the feeling that washes over me is that of suddenly finding myself walking up a down escalator. More on this later, I suppose.
So I spent a big chunk of last Friday in line at the Hoyts cinema inside the Abasto shopping mall, clutching tightly a copy of the program for this year’s Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival. The Abasto mall is probably my favorite shopping mall in Buenos Aires, I suspect in large part by virtue of their awesome multiplex. It’s one of the few cinemas I’ve ever been in that literally will not let you into the theater once the show has started. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about the place. They have real respect for the screenings. That’s really rare these days. At least in this part of the world.
I was joined by an old, old acquaintance, from back when I was an incredibly awkward preteen brimming with enthusiasm and untapped potential. Catalina was the editor for the school newspaper that year, and she reached out to me to handle the primary school section– a section that for the longest time had been relegated to a 2-page spread with collages of ridiculous drawings and one or two 50-word articles. Catalina expanded the primary section to make up a big chunk of the school newspaper, and 70% of the articles were written by me. I wish I had a copy of that. I think I found some of those articles a couple years ago and they were so charmingly naive attempts at post-modernism. I was pretty obsessed with Space Ghost: Coast to Coast back then, see. Well, still am, I guess.
Catalina was in Buenos Aires for about a week. It was extremely strange to see her again. We had been corresponding via Facebook for the last year or so, but the last time I actually saw her face-to-face was easily 8 or 9 years ago in Barranquilla. She’s a bit of a webcelebrity now, having amassed a sizable following on Twitter, running several blogging websites at a time and having worked at SoHo magazine (a slightly-higher-brow Colombian version of Maxim). I remember her as an awkward teenager, now she’s a force to be reckoned with. It brought back a lot of memories.
The festival starts tomorrow. I’m extremely excited about it, although I don’t know if that necessarily has to do with the movies I’m watching rather than just wanting something to cling on to to take my mind off my increasingly alienating situation at work. But if this festival is even half as fun as the 2008 BAFICI, it’s still going to be an awesome experience. Seriously, the 2008 edition of the festival I will always look back on as some of the happiest days of my life. I practically lived in those movie theaters, diving in and hopping out of diegeses like some sort of interdimensional timetraveller. And of course, 2007 was a high point being the year that fucking TOM WAITS came to visit.
I set up my program for this year based around the movies I can realistically watch without interfering with school or work, so I’m not watching as many as I possibly could. All in all, I bought 23 movie tickets and I hope I get to see every one of them. I’m particularly excited about “Meat”, a German sex theater drama, as well as “Leslie My Name is Evil”, the new Reginald Harkema flick. I’m excited about that one after being so inspired by “Monkey Warfare” which screened in the 2008 edition of the festival. Also psyched for “Black Dynamite”, which I’ll be watching minutes before I turn 23, Saturday night. I wanted to watch Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” but of course, that sold out as soon as it went on sale.
And another thing that I’ll be watching is a short piece called “Massage the History”, which is, from what I understand, a mini-documentary of sorts about the geniuses behind the “Peer Pressure” video on youtube. If you haven’t seen it, it’s one of the most confounding and inexplicable and wonderfully strange pieces of footage ever. Follow this link if you dare take the leap. Be warned, this video will change you.
My first festival movie is at 10:30 tomorrow morning. A documentary about Charlie Haden. Seems appropriate.