Where to start…Posted: March 25, 2012
What an amazing weekend it has been. There are so many things to tell you about that I think it will take at least a week. I feel so saturated with life and art and the city of Cleveland that I don’t know where to begin.
So let’s start with the Cleveland International Film Festival which is what took me north in the first place. M and I have gone up several years in a row just to see one movie which translates to an almost hour drive for one film. We’d stand in line for standby tickets and hope for the best while talking about how we ought to check out becoming members or pass holders or something, book a hotel room for at least a day or two, and enjoy a little more of the film festival experience by seeing more than one film. Without winning the lottery or giving up on other things we enjoy in life, purchasing passes that would enable us to sit in on as many films as we’d like is impossible unless I learn how to write movie reviews well enough that people will pay me to show up. If you’ve read any of my book or film reviews, you’ll know this isn’t likely. However, I would be more than willing to become a Sell Out like Dana and continue to endorse, link to, and otherwise promote and advertise the Cleveland International Film Festival on my blog, on my t-shirts (I did buy one of their super cute t-shirts this year), and on my car.
As someone who loves the spirit of the Cleveland International Film Festival, but is still new enough not to be jaded by anything at all, I’m sure I’d make a good blogger and endorser about all things CIFF. Email me CIFF, or just leave a comment and I’ll contact you. I saw some of those guys standing in line with their IPads, looking snarky and critical. I would offer you nothing but love and peace, and the wide-eyed wonder and gratitude of experiencing films from around the world, such as Nana, which surprised and enchanted me. It was a little dark and the beginning was a shock, but it was also delightful.
The weather on Thursday was gorgeous. It was shorts and t-shirt warm. Not your typical CIFF weather. Last year it was snowing and cold and everyone was bundled up. Fortunately, we didn’t have to spend the entire day indoors. Thursday was all about purchasing tickets for our three first pick films, with a good list of alternatives in case they were sold out (none were). Once we had our tickets in hand, we were free to walk around and enjoy the rest of the day.
I should note that we stayed at the Radisson Hotel (in the Gateway District) where we not only got a great deal on the room (film festival rate), but four vouchers for film fest tickets. All in all, it was a great arrangement in many ways, including location. Tower City Center, where the Cleveland International Film Festival is held, was a short walk (about a half mile) away.
We walked around for a while, had dinner, and that was pretty much it for Thursday. Our film day started at noon on Friday, with Nana, so we spent the morning taking a long walk around the city, making our way over to the lake (that would be Lake Erie), and then to Tower City Center. After watching Nana and casting our vote, we met up with some friends who live in the Cleveland area, and had a long, lovely, al fresco lunch at a restaurant on East Fourth where we met the guys who made General Education, a film showing later this week.
The next film we saw was The Cat Vanishes. It sounded interesting and was getting some pretty good reviews. It wasn’t a bad film, but I was a little bored at times. The most amusing part of the film was the message at the beginning asking us to please turn off our cell phones, and not give away the ending of the film to those who haven’t seen it. I did, of course, turn off my phone (always do in theaters and other places where it’s annoying to hear a cell phone ring or listen to someone else’s phone conversation), and there will be no spoilers here. You’ll have to go see the movie if you want to know how it ends.
Our last film for the day turned out to be the best of the three we had picked. Sense of Humor. Thank you, Canada. It was entertaining, funny, and had a good twist at the end.
We took a walk in the rain after seeing Sense of Humor, the nice weather having come to an end, and then went to dinner around 10pm. And so endeth my film festival adventures. That’s the short version, of course. Nobody wants to hear every little detail, I’m sure. I took lots of photos around Cleveland and will bring those to the blog eventually.
On Saturday we took a side trip to Lake View Cemetery where spring has not only sprung, it has gone wild and crazy. There are so many things blooming right now, flowers that usually do not bloom at the same time, that it feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness it.
Cherry trees, tulip magnolias, redbuds, daffodils, hyacinths, forsythia, azaleas, and more are all in bloom right now. There were even a few tulips blooming here and there. Daffodil Hill, a collection of 100,000 bulbs planted in the 1940s, is amazing and in bloom. I’ll post photos from that visit soon, too. If you’re near Lake View, hurry over for a visit sometime in the next week or so. Some of the flowering trees are already losing their blossoms and beginning to leaf so I don’t think they’ll be around more than another weekend or so.
That’s about it from the Bogs for today. Thanks for stopping by. I hope your Sunday has been a good one. We’ve been taking care of indoor chores today. It’s raining and gray outside now, with the temperature cooling off a bit (high around 60). Tomorrow our high will be in the 40s. We have a Freeze Watch in effect from 10pm tomorrow until 10am Tuesday. I hope it’s not too hard on the flowers and trees and other plants that have been experiencing accelerated growth during the unusual warm spell.