AbraCamera: The Magic of Film Fests

With movie awards season approaching quickly and my schedule having a couple of blank slots (quite surprisingly, I may add), I decided to take the time to pay the cinema a visit in order to see a couple of films from the program of my city’s annual film fest. I saw the three films on three consecutive nights and they were quite different from one another, as you may infer from their titles themselves: Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, Walter Salles’s On the Road, and Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love. Without going into too much detail about the movies, I will say two things: 1. Perhaps the one factor these movies have in common is the film fest atmosphere which is (almost) always bound to be incredible; and 2. I strongly recommend both the movies and the film festival experience to everybody.

Courtesy: Resorts West


I took the time to do some research and discovered that successful film festivals started out in the 1930’s, in particular Venice in 1932. The idea was sparked up from Mussolini’s enthusiasm and desire to spread his ideas around Europe. So, disregarding his exact ideology, film festivals were made for the purpose of mass sharing of art and ideas that related to the wider world.

And that is one of the best things about such events to me – the sharing of a common thought. And not only do you share it with faceless people who have at some point in time seen the film as well, but you are in the room with a whole bunch of people who are watching at the same time as you and you can turn left or right to see their faces and their reactions, and that’s what’s so cool. All the different ideas and interpretations are jumping up and down in the theatre, some even shared aloud.

Another one of the great aspects of having a whole crowd around you is that you can get the most of the experience in sharing their feelings for the film. I wouldn’t have found To Rome With Love as funny as I did if the whole audience wasn’t laughing hysterically the entire time. There’s a certain feeling you can’t fabricate anywhere else but at a movie theater. At film festivals, it’s almost certain that seats will be filled and people will have a great time amongst each other.

Image Courtesy: filmfestivals.com

And what’s even better is that you’re in the theatre with people who, more or less, share your interests. To put it crudely, to a certain extent, it’s a more “elitarian” experience than watching a movie the “regular” way, as people have decided what they want to see beforehand, based on their likings and interests, on the cast and creative, plot or genre, and they have not chosen it for lack of anything better to do. So in a sense you’re sitting there with people who have the same preference in films and interest in topics that you do. Last, but not least, you can literally share opinions with them after the film, on whether you liked it or not, the directing, cinematography, acting, etc.

So if you’re feeling down or are in need of a refreshment, take the evening off and go see a good film, the magical way, and get ready for awards season!

PS Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!

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