“This isn’t a film festival, it’s an endurance test” – Mike Ferraro, this morning as we drove to the Palms Casino
He’s right, and it’s been great. They structured it perfectly. The days are built for easy screening and working in the lounge, and the evening films are done in time for the parties. You basically get up, get to work, drink tons of vitamin water, see a film or two, write reviews and such and then it’s party time. Get in bed at a decent hour, lather, rinse repeat.
The HQ has been sporadic with the internet access today, so I’m pre-typing this in Notepad as I wait for the “Damn Yankee Day” screening in a half hour. I figure, unsure as to whether Mike has put any thoughts to cyber-paper yet, I’ll recount last night’s events.
There was a party at the VooDoo Lounge in the Rio, where Mike and I are staying, honoring Sylvester Stallone and the 30th anniversary of “Rocky.” Hoping to catch a glimpse of or word with the Italian Stallion, I was prepared with the usual still camera and DV camera. I should’ve known the night was goosed (GOOSED BY GOD) by the fact that Mike and I showed up an hour early, requiring us to go retreat back to our rooms rather than stand outside the club. Once inside, I decided to try one of the specialty drinks sponsoring the fest. This was a Revive Me Martini.
Now here’s the thing, the night before at the Shark Reef, I had the same drink. It was Stoli, vitamin water and ice, as far as I could tell. It was brightly-colored and wonderful. Last night? The bartender gave me a piece of a pine tree and told me to smell it, as my drink would taste like it (as he’s a flair bartender, meaning like Tom Cruise in “Cocktail,” I thought it was part of the act). No, he proceeded to mix the drink WITH the pine tree chunk in the tumblers. Okay, weird. He then poured the martini in the glass and placed the pine tree-age IN MY GLASS. The drink was clear, it had a tree in it and, upon tasting it, was awful. So, I retreated to the Stella’s, as they’re a safe bet.
As I wandered the VooDoo Lounge, chatting it up with new festival friends new and old (really, fest-depression is about to set in, where everyone I’ve become friends with over this week disappear for months or years unless I see them at the next fest), I didn’t see Stallone. Not even a hint of Stallone. I did see the girl who plays “Veronica Mars,” though I didn’t talk with her (had the best pick-up line too, since we both have the same last name I was going to say “Hey, Kristen Bell right? I’m Mark Bell… are we related? No? Wanna f**k?” I’m all class).
Feeling the Stallone battle lost, I followed the “5 Up 2 Down” crew to the Goldcoast Casino right next door for some late-night bowling. Free CineVegas bowling shirts met us at the table, we got our lanes and started bowling. And boy did I suck (we’ve got video, you’ll see it next week). For the first game I didn’t hit a single pin. Not first frame, first GAME. Armless people hit more pins accidentally than I could on purpose.
As the night-morning went on, however, I got better. Finally putting together the advice everyone had been giving me on how to bowl properly, I started hitting a strike or two. I was collecting spares. I was bowling, and with 7 frames down, I had finally broken 90 (my goal all evening was to break 100). Seeing the goal in reach, I was beeming on the inside… and then they shut off the lanes. Just turned them off. Goosed… I never broke 100…
Which brings us to now. I’m sitting in the HQ, got all my reviews done, just hoping to get online to update the podcast, post this entry and get those reviews in. Mike’s watching another film, and we’ll be passing like ships in the night. Hopefully they’ll have this ‘net fun sorted by the time I get out of “Damn Yankee Day,” but if not, you’re reading this Friday morning instead of Thursday afternoon.