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By Mark Bell | April 15, 2010

Currently typing away at the Pink Princess in yet another hotel room. This one appears to not be haunted so far, which is a step in the right direction. I’m in Atlanta, GA for the 2010 Atlanta Film Festival, and tonight is opening night.

Right now I’m my typical schlub self, wearing a “Star Wars” shirt, rocking some shorts and, generally, looking like a furry goon. If it wasn’t for the black-framed glasses that just scream “film elitist fuckwad,” you’d probably think I was in town for the frat party. This has me seriously wondering how I’m supposed to dress for this evening; I’ve got my FT work shirts which I adore, but do I risk wearing one tonight when I’ve got four more days of festivaling!?!

I doubt it matters, and I don’t know why I’m suddenly self-conscious. The honest answer is I’ll wear what I’ll wear, and they’re welcome to lock me out if it doesn’t work, but I think it’ll be fine. I guess this is this week’s “Glimpse into Neurotic Mark’s Mind.”

Unlike Dallas, where I was in town to watch flicks and write about the festival, I’m in Atlanta as a short film juror. This means I watch a ton of short films, don’t talk about them with anyone but my fellow shorts jurors Jeff Krulik and Mitchell Rose, and then just enjoy the festival. For me, this means I’m going to take a tour of Atlanta tomorrow morning before having an informal “Coffeehouse Conversation” with fellow critic Aaron Hillis about whether the film critic is an endangered species. I also intend to find a sports bar to watch the Flyers-Devils games Friday and Sunday, if possible (I think my time is spoken for with shorts watching and then the awards ceremony, but I’m not sure; need to check the schedule).

Tonight, though, I’m going to focus on enjoying Stanley Nelson’s documentary “Freedom Riders.” Nelson and several other special guests will be in attendance, and I’m looking forward to this film… and to following it up by enjoying the opening night party (and food). Wondering how many people I just hung out with in Dallas will also be in attendance here?

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