If I had a few less kids and a lot more free time, I could see myself being a full-time film-festival groupie. I'd discard everything in my wardrobe that wasn't black, gray or chocolate and, like a freakish, feverish soul in search of my next fix of cinematic nectar, I'd follow the migration trail through the film festival circuit. I'd move from city to city, always staying in a Courtyard Marriott so at least I'd have some kind of safe familiarity to come home to at the end of a long day of extended periods of sitting on my ass in a darkened room interspersed with lively bouts of powerwalking three miles in 10 minutes, deftly maneuvering around elderly people with walkers and moms with double strollers, to make it to the next screening.
If I was living that festival circuit life, baby, I'd hit 'em all. The big ones, the small ones, the specialty fests for every subgroup you can think of. I'd winter at Sundance and summer at Telluride, and in between I'd hit everywhere from Newport to the Hamptons to Vancouver. And right about October 5-19, I'd be living it up in Chicago for the Chicago International Film Festival. And yeah, I suppose it's rather telling that I'm so dorky I get excited looking at festival schedules for fests I'm not even attending. Anyhow, here are some highlights of the CIFF lineup: