I saw low-budget documentaries in the smallest theater at Austin Film Festival on Thursday, so I thought that on Friday, I would see the big-name movies showing in the biggest theater. I like film festivals in which you have both options and can alternate between the films that you might never have another opportunity to see, and the films that you get to see a couple of months before everyone else does (or better yet, as a rough cut way before the release date).
Once again, work prevented me from attending the conference part of AFF—well, sort of. The fact is that the conference panels are meant to appeal to screenwriters and filmmakers and right now I am neither. AFF does not include panels for film critics, bloggers, or essayists, perhaps because no one wants to encourage that kind of behavior. I probably would have been able to make it downtown earlier for a panel on the business of film writing, perhaps including Joe Bob Briggs.
I ran into some friends in line at the Paramount for The Ice Harvest. The lines were pretty long, although I think Shopgirl still holds the record this year. I find that the long lines are often a great way to meet people or to spend some time chatting with people you already know. We managed to nab some good seats, which was lucky because the theater ended up being so full that people were sitting in the limited-view box seats.