I have always loved watching movies. Ever since I was a little kid, movies were more for me than just mere entertainment. When people talk about the "magic" of movies, most people think that they are just talking about the special effects that are used to see things that you wouldn't be able to see in real life. But for me, the "magic" of movies was something more. It was how movies were able to draw you in and make you a part of what was happening. A way to escape the mundane and be a part of something more. Even bad movies (for which I have an ever-growing appreciation) were filled with their own unique charm.
One of the other reasons that I have always loved movies is because of the community of fellow movie fans. Unlike other forms of entertainment (books, comics, video games, sporting events, etc.), you would be hard pressed to find someone in industrialized societies who has never seen a movie. They are universal. It does not matter if you enjoy history, sports, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, non-fiction...there are movies about it. Not everyone is going to have the same taste in movies and not everyone with similar tastes is going to have the same opinion about the same movie. But, no matter how diverse people are, movies are a common thread that can bring everyone together. And that is exactly what happened at the Chattanooga Film Festival.
|Me, Clint Howard, Daniel|
A couple weeks ago, I was able to go to the Chattanooga Film Festival with Mass Listeria (thanks again, Daniel and Tim, for bringing me on board...puns and all). For four days, the Majestic Theater in Chattanooga was filled with movie lovers of all shapes and sizes. Comedy, horror, drama, documentaries, short films, animated films, independent films...the festival had movies for everyone, regardless of tastes. Not every film was for everyone. And some genres might have been more heavily scheduled than others. But, regardless of taste, there was at least one movie there that everyone would have enjoyed.
I will be posting reviews of each of the movies that I saw, but that is not the purpose of this post. This is about the overall atmosphere of the festival, because that is one of the things that I think makes the Chattanooga Film Festival so unique. Regardless of what you think about the south, there is something undeniable about southern charm. And Chris Dortch and his co-conspirators (of which there are too many too name) put as much love and devotion into creating the Film Fest as your grandmother puts into her home-made biscuits (or chicken 'n dumpling, or strawberry jam...or whatever your grandmother's specialty is).
|Chris Dortch talking to the "patron saint" |
of CFF, Joe Bob Briggs
It was abundantly clear that the Chattanooga Film Festival is not just about watching movies...it's about loving movies. From the fans, to the press, to the volunteers, to those who had created the films...it was clear that everyone at the Chattanooga Film Festival had a love for movies! Regardless of how vastly different someone's opinion of a movie was, the differing views were expressed with respect and genuinely wanting to hear what others thought. I think that this was aided by the fact that the theme of the weekend was "respect cinema." Respecting cinema doesn't just mean "enjoy the movie." It meant that you should respect the entire movie-going experience.
Thankfully, that same environment and love for movies is going to be extended beyond the Chattanooga Film Festival. Chris Dortch and Mise en Scenesters are also in the process of getting Cine-Rama up and running in downtown Chattanooga, where unique and interesting movies will be shown year-round. If you are a fan of movies, send your support their way! And if you are able, I highly recommend that you try to make it to the Chattanooga Film Festival next year.
If you enjoy movies, conventions, comics, games, cartoons, Star Wars, or just about anything geeky...be sure to check back soon for all things geekery!! In the meantime, follow me here, on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.