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.