So I’ve been asking myself, in the age of on-demand video streaming, why am I here, at the Los Angeles Film Festival? I know what I like and digital technology allows me to find exactly what I’m looking for, no matter how obscure, independent, or oddball. Why fight traffic on the 101 when I can sit on my couch?
Well...Because, I need this. Film festivals allow me to encounter movies and voices outside of my little bubble of viewing habits and storytelling ticks. I never really know what I am in for, but I’m forced to surrender to whatever appears on screen. So, my level of attention and engagement is different. I’ll see films hand-picked by cinema lovers instead of Netflix algorithms; I’ll see them in packed theaters instead of alone with an iPad and an earbud. There will be hours of heated discussion afterwards, about the bad films most of all, and at least one strange little film, one I would never have seen otherwise, will completely blow my mind.
Or not. Regardless of how well I like the films, ideas, aesthetics, inspirations and outrages will penetrate my little bubble and rattle around inside until they find their way into my own work. I need this. Otherwise, I’ll just sit at home watching Rosemary’s Baby for the 30th time and rehash the super-8 shorts I made at USC.
Oh...and also, if I never leave the backyard shed where I have my office, I'll never get to see any of my friends. So, I hope to see you around...