Last night I was thrilled to attend the Opening Night of the Los Angeles Film Festival at LA LIVE. This is a huge festival, the Red Carpet alone for the opening film I'm So Excited! stretched nearly half a block. The festival has dozens of what look to be outstanding films, shorts, workshops, talks, special events, parties, and on and on. I urge you to get to at least some of these remarkable events. It's fun, a little crazy, and a perfect way to usher in the summer! Tickets are still available, for more information visit lafilmfest.com or call 866 345-6337.
I arrived around 5:30 and picked up my press pass, then wandered around in a semi-daze, sort of overwhelmed by it all. Finally I got my bearings and started shooting photos and enjoying the evening.
I was soon able to hover next to the Red Carpet for the screening of I'm So Excited! by Pedro Almodovar (reviewed below), and watched as the filmmakers, sponsors, guests and actors filtered by until I was politely asked by a rather firm security guard to beat it. So I wandered into the theatre a bit early, got a good seat, then went out to the theatre lobby where eventually John Lithgow himself floated in and bought popcorn just like a regular guy. I wolfed down a hot dog (note to self, eat beforehand next time!) then chatted with some of the filmmakers, volunteers, and sponsors, all very kind and fascinating folks.
After the screening, I went to the after party, which was wonderful. Filled with exciting personalities, creative types, industry executives, fellow writers, and some of the most gorgeous people you'd ever hope to see, they also had delicious food, great music, and a really cool setting. It was held up on a roof of LA LIVE and decorated with tons of balloons, lights, flowers, etc.
Click on my Flickr page link here: Joy's Flicker page to see many more photos and a video from the evening, I took a lot because it was such a huge event.
I will be attending several more events at the festival later on, it runs through June 23rd, hope to see you there!
REVIEW OF I'M SO EXCITED!
Directed by Pedro Almodovar
© 2013 Joy Bennett
Opening Night Film
Los Angeles Film Festival June 13, 2013
Almodovar is one of our most popular and successful directors, and with good reason. He has a very distinctive, delightful voice, and a formula that really works for both him and his audience. His films are usually wildly entertaining while also deftly commenting on pressing social issues, all condensed in a mad-cap style that is a wonder to watch. While I would not say this paticular film is his strongest (it is a bit long and relies too heavily on the same punchline), it will be enjoyed by anyone who is an Almodovar fan, which would be most of us.
The film is light, funny and delightful, as frothy as the foam that figures strongly in the plot, and is good for an enjoyable evening. However, to see Almodovar at his best, I would recommend Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About my Mother, or Talk to Her. The music is great though, and all in all the Director seems like a kid at heart here who is inviting you to play. Not everyone will want to join the party, but I certainly did.
Almodovar graciously spoke before the screening and I got to know him a little bit more. He is much like his films: funny, a bit outrageous, lovable, and childlike all at once. A bear of a man, you could tell how much his actors, crew, and just about everyone he meets adores him.