It’s also a lot of work. I count myself lucky that I have a job that allows me to do something I greatly enjoy: watch movies. The magic of sitting in a dark room full of strangers and watching a story unfold will most likely never get old. Most of the time, I end up screening films for consideration in our programming on DVD or online. When I get to festivals, however, the general excitement is palpable, with hundreds or even thousands of people who are just as passionate about film sitting in that dark room with me. Sometimes (often) there is applause when the film ends, and sometimes (usually only at Cannes) howls of disapproval and discontent.
But really, when it comes down to it, film festivals like this are really just giant trade shows, with filmmakers and sales agents displaying their shiny new films in the hopes that people the world over will buy them. There is the Marche du Filme, essentially the trade show floor, complete with booths from around the world, working to sell everything from the latest art house film to a Nazi zombie killer flick and everything in between. It’s pretty awesome when you think about it.
Around the world, at any time, there are hundreds, if not thousands of filmmakers going through the excruciatingly exquisite exertion of making their films: a real life manifestation of the things they see and hear in their heads. Not many things in the world give that kind of gratification.
So we flock to the festivals hoping to share the experiences in their heads. All of us. The buyers, the sellers, the filmmakers, the critics, and yes, even people who just want to see good movies. And then we talk about it afterwards. Some of us just talk to our friends, others to colleagues, and still others to the public at large, creating the buzz that hums in our ears until everyone else makes it to the theater.
So today I started a little of my own buzzing, watching a few films, some good, some great, some not that great. And I can’t wait to watch a whole lot more, and feel the buzz hum around me, as it always does at a hive like Cannes. Cannes has beaches. Museums. Shopping. History. Food and wine. The movies overshadow them all.
What was the last film you just had to buzz about? Have you ever seen a film simply because of the buzz?