Tuesday, February 20, 2007

That's a Wrap!

Indiefest is finally over. I say that because for several years, I have seen 20+ movies over the 12 day festival. There are a few films I want to blog about but I'll save that for another day(s).

This year I went to 30 films in eleven days. Tonight was the 12th night but I had a dinner meeting that kept me from attending. Every year I tell myself that it is too much of an inconvenience to go to so many films. This year, I saw the two Japanese films during the festival (but not part of the festival). That's 32 films in 11 days which averages to nearly 3 films per day. So many films in such a short period of time exhausts me mentally. The maddening aspect about Indiefest is that it is hit or miss so you need to go to as many films as possible to find the few gems. Despite seeing 30 programs at Indiefest, I missed ten programs including films that won the Audience Awards for Best Feature (Rolling) and Best Documentary (Gypsy Caravan).

Out of those 30 programs (really 29 since I saw one film twice), I would only recommend a handful. A program is defined as a feature length film or a short film compilation. My top choices were Viva, Yellow, Neighborhood Watch, The Mermaid of the River Plate (40 minutes), The Ballad of Greenwich Village, and Green Minds, Metal Bats. I was highly entertained & impressed by numerous short films.

One of the best things about Indiefest is that their primary venue is the Roxie Theater. The theater itself is outdated and the floor is not pitched or sloped at a steep enough angle to see over the people in the row in front of you. The popcorn is not as good as the Castro or the Balboa and actually their concession stand menu is limited. The staff can be a little surly at times as well. Also the neighborhood is sketchy. Why do I like to go to the Roxie again? Oh yes - the best thing about the Roxie is that Truly Mediterranean is two doors down. If you haven't been to Truly Med, you need to go because their Falafel Deluxe and Shawerma are delicious. They serve them burrito style in lavash bread instead of in pita pockets. Despite the fact that their website lists their only location as in Bellevue, WA (across the lake from Seattle), they have a small take-out joint on 16th St. near Valencia. Trivial digression - I read that every culture has a variation of the wrap: falafel, burrito, spring roll, stromboli, etc.

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