Posted at 4:00 PM on April 18, 2009
by Euan Kerr
The scene was a sunbathed restaurant patio, crowded with people enjoying the first glorious Friday evening of the season. A little girl walked up with a little pink toy dog in her hand, and began pretending it was sniffing my arm.
"What's the dog's name?" I asked.
"Charlotte Rampling," she said with a smile.
Charlotte Rampling? Ah, the movie buffs are in town.
A large group of film writers (film fans really,) the self described Film Goats, sat outside the St Anthony Main Theaters in Minneapolis last evening and yakked about their hot picks and tips for the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival.
There was general agreement that there was a great deal to see, and a sense that more possibilities will inevitably arise as people get a chance to study the schedule.
Those schedules are available at the theaters, and are being distributed to other venues, including the businesses sponsoring the festival, and to the Landmark Theater venues. They are also going to be dropped off at colleges around town, as well as selected coffee shops and public libraries.
Certainly the schedules were a hot item at St Anthony Main.
Kathie Smith was recommending the Rwandan feature "Liberation Day" as a hot pick. Daniel Getahun was playing his cards close, and Rob Nelson was there to check out "Trust Us This is All Made Up" for Variety. I was pitching the delights of "Trip to Asia" and the guilty pleasures of "The Last Cup" the documentary about the World Series of Beer Pong.
We were joined by Louis Lopat, director of "Win or Lose: a summer camp story."
(He's the one wearing the yellow shirt talking to Rob Nelson in the Pedro shirt.)
The film, which captures a week of intense competition at a camp in Northern Wisconsin recently took a top prize at the Wisconsin Film Festival.
Lopat looked a little nervous as the people at the table regaled him with tales of their own summer camp. He admitted that hearing the "This American Life" show which compared summer camps to religious cults convinced him to make the movie about the camp where he has attended. The MSPIFF screening didn't sell out, but reports are the question and answer session after the film was spirited and long.
The lines outside the theaters began growing just before 7pm, and for a while even stretched down the street. Apparently a printer broke down in the will call line, and it slowed things a little, but the mood was good and people were just eager to check out the movies.
After a while the Movie Goats began drifting off to various theaters and other appointments, although not without promising to meet again next week.
'Twas a great start to MSPIFF, that's for sure (nevermind that I bolted over to the Walker to see Hunger as soon as we split up...).
I'm really glad Louis came out and that the Q & A for his film went well. I look forward to checking out the screener.
And I take it you successfully fought the temptation to participate in the Beer Pong event on Saturday night - that would have deserved a post of its own.