Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Day 6

There is a routine to life here at Karlovy Vary. Each day starts with scoring tickets for our chosen movies for the following day. Today it was my turn to get up and schlep down to the special box office for insiders. On the way in I passed long lines of people standing in the rain, waiting for the box offices for the common folk to open. Minutes later I was breezing past them the other direction, my only delay being some difficulty with the bar-code scanner as the girl scanned my Badge. No worries, it gave me a little bit of time to venture a very small joke in czech, which she dutifully laughed at while correcting my grammar.

It’s good to be an insider, especially when the festival is designed to be an industry event first, and a public movierama second.

Today is Slavic Day for fuego and me; we started the day with a couple of shorter Czech films, one of which was all right and the other not very good, then went on to a Polish film that was an unrelenting downer from start to finish. It was well-acted, but the production never shifted gears, only briefly giving glimpses of happiness (quickly and guiltily stifled) as things steadily spiral downward.

Now I’m in a pub named for the Good Soldier Svéjk (rhymes with ache), one of the Czech Republic’s greatest war heroes (not only was he terrible at waging war, a drunk, and a conniver, he was fictitious), having a drop of Kozel Dark to lift my spirits. Not that lifting them is terribly difficult; I disengaged from the (well-portrayed) weak main characters fairly early on. In the end, I had no sympathy for anyone.

Next up comes a Serbian flick, The Optimists. I’ve got my fingers crossed. After that no more movies until midnight, when we’ll see if the Norwegians are able to match the New Zealanders for pure schlock magic. In between I hope to keep the writing momentum going; the last couple of days have been quite productive.

We are indoors for our interludes today; the weather outside is unseasonably chilly, the light rain pushed around by just enough of a cold breeze to make sitting outside under an awning uncomfortable. I’m hoping for nicer weather tomorrow, when I’ll haul out the camera and take a few snaps around town.

6 thoughts on “Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Day 6

  1. I don’t know whether it’s a temporary glitch, but your sidebar seems to have disappeared. I tried reloading the page and even restarting my browser, but it just wouldn’t show up. I wanted to look up the total mileage of your road trip and mini-road trip.

    If you or anyone else (Lydia?) could fill me in on this info, I can add that detail to tonight’s blog post.

  2. Sidebar is back, hopefully. Mini road trip mileage was a bit over 5000 before I left the Miata with you and hopped the train.

  3. Yes, the sidebar is back. Thanks.

    Currently in the process of adding fuego’s other website to my blog links.

  4. If some of the films are unbearably dreary, makes you wonder if the other side of the fence gets sick of American films being in your face happy.

    But enquiring bloggers gotta know…how was the zombie sheep flick? Sounds like a must see!

  5. Now that Jesse has juxtaposed reviews and American films, I have to say that Ratatouille is pathetic. While the pre-teens in the family found it amusing, the rest of us struggled to make it through to the end. In my view, it is a thin story slowly told. I kept asking myself if it was really the work of the Disney – Pixar team who created Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. If so, then they must have left the JV squad in for the whole game.

  6. Yes, the Europeans enjoy deriding American cinema as being lightweight, and there are a lot more endings here that don’t wrap everything up in a tight little package. Some directors seem to take this to a ridiculous extreme, however, with the American-like “more is better” attitude. If dark is good, then unrelenting blackness without a glimmer of light is better.

    Black Sheep was awesome. I’ll link to fuego’s review when he finally puts it up. It’s hard to tell how much of the pleasure was environmental; we were in a very large theater, packed with a rowdy crowd that was into to the movie from the very start. I am confident that many of them were less sober. Still, the movie delivered what it promised, with style. I plan to rent it again so I can catch the jokes I missed because of the laughing and cheering in the auditorium.

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