Part of me loves attending the New York Film Festival every year, and part of me doesn't. Since it's a pain in the ass to get from Queens to Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the part of me that hates to use up five hours of my time to see one film is always nagging in my ear: "Skip it this year, man. It takes up too much time. And you're lazy." Then again, when on your first day of screenings you get to watch an exceptional new film from Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and then get to stick around for a Q&A with the legendary director, the part of me that loves attending NYFF ultimately wins out.
Since I've only seen one film so far (mainly because, this year, time just doesn't allow me to snort up every little piece of filmmaking), instead of writing a dispatch I thought I'd place my initial thoughts here. NYFF is a strange festival, because the press screenings begin a good week before the fest officially opens, and they're fairly spread out across four weeks. Since the fest also takes place within the confines of, say, a block or so, that summer camp, community aspect is not really there. You see a press screening, stick around to chat with another NYC-based writer about Marisa Tomei naked (more on that in a bit), and then you go home to write about it. That pretty much sums it up. All the NYC regulars are there, there's always some old smelly guy sitting either next to me, in front of me or behind me, and no matter when I go to the bathroom, I always wind up standing next to someone I know at the urinal. Last year it was actor Patrick Wilson, and this year it was Andrew Grant (aka Filmbrain). Thus, I'm thinking about starting a urinal interview series for folks I run into -- if, ya know, they don't think that's awkward.