Mon 1 Oct 07
"There's got to be a morning after..."
Yes, there does indeed. And first, a long night's sleep, thank G.
So I'm still flyin' high from the incredible weekend of films, 14 in all for me – could've been 15 if I'd just gotten in Saturday morning for AUGUST THE 1ST but even the most devoted must get 3 or 4 hours in there.
The images and stories are swirling and whirling inside, and the feelings welling and swelling around.
Sometime after noon I gather my wits and stuff once again, pared down now to different daily essentials, and go on into town. At Sweet Laurette's I finally sit down with my "morning" bowl of cappuccino and that whole wheat cinnamon roll, but first chat up some folks I've never met about the festival.
First are a couple, Danny & Candy, from Edmonds, here in their rec-vee for the weekend and totally surprised to find the Festival going on. But they had 6 grandchildren with them, so couldn't go to any of the films or events. But they looked over the program and saw all the hustling bustling filmgoers, and are already planning for next year – without grandchildren!
Next is Suzanne, with her mother who lives here and a friend visiting from Palm Springs. Michael Knowles was staying in one of her friend's "hideaways" here in PT, and she got to meet him and John Ramos. Suzanne had good friends who helped found the Palm Springs Film Festival, but told me they left it when that fest became too focused on the money and prestige factors.
I told her that was exactly what Michael had told me was PTFF's asset: "Film festivals began for the sake of independent films or films that wouldn't normally get distribution, but were worthy to be seen by audiences..... I find there's way too many film festivals who have lost that focus, too many that are very focused on the business part of it. And that's tough, because when money influences the decisions, then they just forget about what are the best films, or what films need to be shown to audiences.
"I see the Port Townsend Film Festival becoming one of the premier festivals, because it's run so well, by people with real integrity, and because of the quality of films that they're picking."
Go down to the Baker Block Building to see how Peter & Nancy et al are doing. FrendL & I take the "evelator" to the 3rd floor as usual, to save her little legs, and meet Nancy just leaving, so we ride back down together and I walk her to her car. I can see her back is troubling her, even without wearing heels. And the parking permits for the Film Fest on her dashboard are obscured by not one but two tickets for parking in the "Reserved for PTFF" spot!
Glad to hear she is off for 2 days, at least, to lie down and maybe even read a little. Tell her I'll come by the office again and see what I can do for the office then. I remember the lovely chaos of last year there! And as someone who didn't work during the fest, just the delightful work of seeing the films, I have a little energy that the volunteers who worked so hard all weekend probably do not.
Do report to her the glowing reports I've heard so far. In particular tell her Sherry G got a visit from the Bainbridge crowd (Cynthia Sears & Frank Buxton, John & Barb Ellis, Little & Lewis) who raved up the infrastructure of the Festival. This is high praise from experienced and sophisticated festivalgoers.
As for me, this may have been my best PTFF yet, and I don't say that – to myself or other – every year. Maybe I just chose great films that had meaning for me, that touched me deeply. Maybe I feel even more at home here. And just maybe it was just the best so far!
I cannot believe my good fortune to partake in all this. There's no place like Port Townsend, there's nothing like cinema, there's no place like home – and this is indeed my home.