Friday, May 20, 2011

david tells me about the SIFF opening night gala

David went to SIFF opening night last night and I clandestinely transcribed what he said. He went with our friend Chrissy because she's into acting and we love her and I'd worked all day and was in no mood.

David:  So I met Chrissy at Great Kabab, she was really excited because she loves SIFF and so she’d gotten this whole outfit at Forever 21 or something, it was this black and white stripey dress with vintage-y sailor buttons on the back and she had aqua shoes and everyone loved those. It was the best people watching because it was half douchebags and half really nice creative people, and then the third half was old rich people. So the classic SIFF douchebag is like a dude with the two-day growth that’s all manicured and then he has spiky hair. And then – oh, these girls. So we were standing in this perfect place where you could overlook the stairs and see all the people coming in and we picked out two whores. They were like working girls at the Bellagio, just overtanned and they had  on fake leather boots that were a terrible length and looked like...what are those really wrinkly dogs called? Sharpaes? So they were tromping up the stairs. They enter the story later in the evening. So at the top of the stairs was Nancy Guppy and she was this totally sweet lady who you could tell she was definitely, like, fifty but really beautiful in that she wasn't she wasn’t trying to be younger, she was just herself and really sweet and funny and so she interviewed me on camera and it was like a one minute interview and she goes “look at what this guy’s wearing!” and she really liked my shoes. So the other thing was that the whole night I knew that I was wearing something good because all the gay guys loved it and were high-fiving me.

Me:  Gay guys high five?

David:  Yeah, they would, and we’d be in line and they’d turn around and say “I have to say that’s an amazing jacket." So we went to this movie theater and we walked down this wing where there were these private booths and we found one where there were just five seats and no one was in there and it was awesome because you could peer down at all the people below but still text and talk. So we were figuring out who was sitting in which section, like where the rich people were sitting and were the pseudo-celebrities were sitting and stuff. We had been out in the lobby having drinks and everyone was rushing into the theater and I was like "we don’t need to rush in there, there’s going to be 45 minutes of speeches like ‘the city of Seattle is a great place to do arts.’" So sure enough we got in these seats and people come out and do puff-talking, like “the city of Seattle is proud to welcome you tonight with open arms. What a great city we live in” and just stroking each other and making pretend announcements and having pretend awards like “we’re pleased to announce a partnership tonight between the Sounders and SIFF” and everyone would clap and go awwww. So then they trotted out the president of the Sounders and he was like "we are grateful that this partnership is taking place with good volunteers and helping hands" and then HE trotted out an actual Sounder and a child and said “our partnership is about education and literacy and sport.” So get this, though. The movie we saw last night was called The First Grader and it took place in Africa with an African cast with an African man who’s 80 or something and he can’t read so he goes to school and is in a classroom of first graders, and that’s the story. So the mayor gets up before the movie started and he’s doing his own puffy congratulations and things and he says “with movies such as this, which stars and African-American man who blah blah blah” and I heard him say it but Chrissy caught it and the thing was that it was a horrible mistake because he’s not American. He's African. But a totally classic mistake. So it threw Chrissy for a second because she thought "is this an American movie?" and later I asked someone who’s on the City of Seattle staff and they were like “oh yeah. Mayor blew it.” So I had confirmation later in the evening.

Me:  Did you guys walk the red carpet?

David:  No but basically if you wanted to walk the red carper you had to divert yourself from entering the theater to a tiny section of red carpet that the media conglomerated around and from entering the red carpet and leaving it was like 10 feet long of red carpet with a special SIFF background. And ropes. But the real entrance was way easier to get into. So then they trotted out the director of the film and his entourage and the director was British and so he was more gracious and easier to listen to than the douchebags and old fogies. So the lights go down and the movie starts. We’re in these tiered private sections like what the judges from the Muppets would sit in. Then there was a screwup in the movie where suddenly the screen went black and everybody’s like “ohh “ and there’s a hush in the crowd. And the moment it came back on everone applauded like “good job projectionist! You fixed the problem!” That was annoying. Okay, so we’re going to get to the juicy part now. So I stepped out to go to the bathroom and as I’m walking down the long hallway, who do I pass but the two trashy whores that we’d picked out of the crowd as like “okay, they’re the sore thumbs of the whole evening.” So I passed them and I’m thinking “oh no, they’re going oto t take the seats behind us because people just left and those seats are now empty.” And while I’m in the bathroom I get a text from Chrissy: “Guess whose feet are on your seat?” And I go back to my seat and whores are sitting there and one of them had taken off her whore boots and had her bare feet over the seat next to Chrissy’s face! So then when I came in she sighed and went “aughhh” and pulled her feet back and put her boots back on and then they proceeded to snort coke. They were snorting and sniffling so loudly. And then there were a couple scenes where they’d cackle stupidly during some funny thing. I was trying with my camera phone to take a picture behind me but it was too dark. Okay, so the movie ended and everybody fled the theater to go get the food and we're talking three or four thousand people pressing out of the theater to the hall across the walkway thing and there are different vendors with sliders and things so we were in the hamburger station and everybody’s pressed up to the front and these piggy ladies go “This is kind of like Top Chef but if this was Top Chef you would get an F.” We had to get out because it was this horrible pig-pile of people pushing into each other trying to get their food so we went to the dance floor and immediately the dance floor had become what it becomes at the end of a wedding reception. You know how it the very tail end everyone’s drunk and dancing crazy, that’s how it was right at the very beginning. Old people, middle aged plastic surgery-ed women, whores, douchebags, everybody. There was this one VIP area called the Magnolia High Fi VIP and it was a total corporate thing. They had, ooo, big screen tvs and champagne on platters and ooo nice couches but there was nothing in there but douchenozzles and their fakey surgerey-ed girlfriends. That’s where style went to die because out on the main floor you had the hoi polloi and you got the whole range like artsy people and hangers-on and the old people who looked like they should be asleep in a library which is cool cause that’s where you see interesting things but the VIP area was totally boring and saltine cracker. We had to get out of there. I found James Keblas and he was going on about how he loves the Holy Rollers documentary. We saw some people we haven’t seen in awhile and they looked kind of confused that I was with Chrissy and not you so I had to explain you were home with the kids and had  worked all day and didn’t really want to come. Chrissy said “when I introduce you to people everyone just assumes you’re gay because you’re with me.” Chrissy was just hilarious and the perfect person to take and people-watch with. Then they just suddenly turned on fluorescent lights and were like “Get out.” And it was kinda early at that point and everyone was just getting into the party and they pulled the plug.

It was definitely worth going to, but not for the reasons they thought it was worth going to. Half of them were doing snooty pretending like "We're here to celebrate film" and just want to be seen and say "I'm an important person, you should know me" and the other half just wants to be where the party is and get their party on. Like, the way people were pressing into the snack table it was like "you're not here for film, you're here for little meat burgers." The way they were acting was hilarious. There were classic people, like a guy with a giant backpack on. In a crowd. Why? He was swinging it around and almost knocking Chrissy over. Why is it, in concerts and stuff you always get stuck next to the backpack guy. It's like having another person strapped to your back and they have no sense of space, they just knock into people with it.

I would definitely go again but not for the sake of film. I just want to people watch.


Colin said...

Best thing Ive read in eight mos.

Rye said...

Wow...that was amazing. I've done a lot of grunt work for film festivals and all of David's observations are true except for the gay high-5ing thing (David's jacket was cool). Maybe that a Seattle-gay thing. We kiss on cheeks down here, except for me...I scowl at people like an angry cat when I meet them. Don't touch me.

There are so many fuckers at those festivals. I mostly like the small filmmakers from some obscure town who are so excited to have their film in a festival.

When will Holy Rollers come to a theater near me?

rachel said...

that is awesome! and totally correct.

i went last year as a guest with some girl's from the film school and was immediately ditched in my lack of effort to keep up.

i found solace in the free champagne but the people watching would have been more entertaining had i an ear to share it with :)

stephy said...

haha! Your lack of effort to keep up! I'd have stayed with you.