Well, after nearly three years of faithful service, I’m getting to take a little business trip to LA with Heartland. I’m super excited! We’re having a special screening of last year’s Grand Prize Winner, Beyond the Gates (formerly known as Shooting Dogs) – it’s coming out in theaters March 16 – and I had sort of lost hope that I’d get to go… but yesterday I found out I do! Yay! I confess, I say this with pride – I fought tooth and nail to get this film entered last year. I read about it on some obscure site, then poked around and asked questions for months trying to find it, finally contacted the producer who didn’t want to submit, finally convinced her to submit, watched it, loved it, then the producer reneged and wanted to pull it from consideration, Jeff stepped in and convinced her to stay… and that was before our judges even agreed to have it in the Festival! Ah, but it went on to win the Grand Prize, the filmmakers have been just lovely, and all our dreams have come true as it finally has distribution in the United States. It has turned into one amazing success story in a million hopefuls for independent film.
So that should be fun… a swanky film screening, maybe a studio tour, some business lunches, hugs from past filmmakers… plus it’ll just be nice to get away for three days in sunny Southern Cali, and I’m even taking one extra day to go up to Santa Monica and hang out with Kevin, Dan, and maybe James. Hopefully I’ll get to try that bar/burger place that Jon McL described in his post about “the gayest day of his life.” And if I’m really lucky, I can celebrate with Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan as they come out of rehab again.
Speaking of movies and all that, who plans to watch the Oscars on Sunday? Do you have any favorites you want to win? I’ve only seen three of the five Best Picture candidates, one of which was Babel last night. It was OK, better than I expected. It felt similar to Crash, what with all the interconnected stories, but I wasn’t quite as moved by it. The acting was good… the camera work was interesting and fit the story well… but there were definitely a few moments that just took me out of the film, thinking, “Gaaaa, why did they put that in there???” Anyway. For what my opinion is worth.
I’ll definitely tune in for the Academy Awards, probably doing other stuff in between and stopping here and there to gawk at the pretty dresses. Can’t say I’m excited about Ellen DeGeneres as host, and I don’t usually like the musical numbers in between just because they draw the evening out so long… whoever decided it should broadcast on a Sunday night must be daft. But anyway, it should be a good time. Maybe I’ll go out, maybe I’ll stay in, we’ll see. I remember one year in high school I was invited to an Oscars party where you were supposed to dress formally. I rushed all the way there after work in a snowstorm, only to find that there were about four geeky teenagers sitting in front of the tube and – surprise – I was the only one in formal wear. A short sparkly blue dress and silver heels, oh dear fashion gods. Ha ha, the story of my life.
So in all, it looks to be a busy weekend. Tonight I head up to Anderson University to be a judge for their little film festival. That should be interesting, back in ol’ Hartung 101, hanging with the cool kids. I have no doubt that some of my former students will have entered films, and I’m almost equally as sure that I’ll judge them harshly. I’m such a meanie. But at least I’ll look cute in my short denim skirt and footless tights. It’s a Friday night – who says I have to look professional?
Then tomorrow – I’m super excited about this – I FINALLY get to see The Gabe Dixon Band. I have been following these guys ever since I saw Jon McL and Dan do a cover of “More Than It Would Seem” in Cheap Thrills, oh probably four? five? years ago in college? Anyway, they seem to constantly hibernate in Nashville, and I know a lot of us have been begging them to come a little north… so horray, I get to see them live at last!
That’s the story from this corner of the world… how go you?
P.S. Am I a dork for always including links? I just think it’s rude to assume that my audience has any idea who or what I am talking about. It’s the journalist in me – “always shoot for an 8th grade audience.”