Landlocked Film Festival here in Iowa City. I found it almost by accident while walking home from class Thursday night. I saw some posters outside of a theater and on a whim went inside to find out more. I got a program of all the films being shown and talked to this woman there who helps run the festival and she enthusiastically rattled off her recommendations (which was really most of the films). I ended up watching 5 hours of films yesterday and a little more than that today. Don't judge me! I also used the opportunity to make new friends.
Friday I called up this girl Gloria who's from the branch who lives near me and asked her if she was interested in going to one of the film programs that night and she was siked about it! Then, on my way downtown to meet her I ran into this kid Jared who also lives near us and invited him to come too. He had some stuff to do but agreed to meet us downtown when he was done. It was a huge success! There were lots of great films (and several experimental ones that we weren't big fans of) but mostly it was just fun to get to know Gloria and Jared better.
Also, funny story. So when Jared called us yesterday to tell us he was done with his stuff, we were at a program of documentaries and told him to come down to meet up with us and watch those. (One of our favorites was Boat Dreams directed by Sasha Andrew. The opening shot was taken close to the surface of a still lake, as if you were skimming just above it, but it was flipped upside down so the reflection was on top of the frame and what was being reflected was below. It was really trippy and amazing.) It took Jared a while to get down to the hotel where those films were being shown, and when he finally arrived there were only two left. The one he walked in just in time for? Called Period Piece (directed by Christine Robins). Yup, it was about menstruation. Good timing, Jared. Luckily it wasn't too long and he was a good sport about it. (Side note: it was also really funny and well done. If you are a woman—or a curious member of the male gender—you should certainly click on the link above and watch it: it's only about 12 minutes long.)
Between yesterday and today I watched 2 different programs of shorts (that's shorts as in short films, not as in short pants) and liked a fair amount of them. There was a pretty funny, though slightly crude one called Action World by these guys from FND Films (sort of like Barats and Barretta, but different). There was also this clever film called Lydia and Otto that Gloria and I liked a lot. It's tricky, though, you have to listen really carefully to the dialogue. And there was a Pittsburgh Neighborhood Narrative film that I enjoyed called Squared, directed by Jeremy Braverman (no, he's not related to the family in Parenthood. They're just pretend, guys).
Basically, what I'm trying to say with all of this is that I have had a fantastic weekend. I've started to build new friendships, potentially convinced Gloria to move in with me and help me clean up the backyard (she volunteered with excitement and enthusiasm to do that), and generally enjoyed myself in a plethora of ways.
As my mom said before she left, Iowa City is the mid-west's best kept secret. I agree.