Quentin Tarantino is hosting a 2 month long grindhouse film festival over here in an original grindhouse theater in Hollywood. I would normally not go to these festivals because they are too far away. Well, not really. Hollywood is only about 20 minutes away from my house without any traffic. That thing is, there is always traffic. So what should be a 20 minutes trip turns into a 1 hour and 20 minutes trip. If not more.
Yesterday I was in the area where this grindhouse is located and I decided to look for it. After a couple of minutes trying to find it, I found it. It turns out that the cinema is only 10 minutes away from where my dad works. So, guess where I went today.
The grindhouse cinema/festival was beyond awesome. I regret not being able to make it to the first day of the festival but I was lucky enough to be able to go the 2nd day tonight. I plan on going to every showing now for the next 2 months. The theater/presentation of the films is wonderful, but what really makes this whole experience so beyond sublime and just well kick ass is the audience. Everyone who is there is there because they love cinema. Waiting in the line outside I heard the words "Godard" "Truffaut" "Wong Kar-Wai" and even "Dolemite!!!" being thrown around. Everyone started talking to eachother about film while waiting in line. Now, this made me happy to know that there are cinephiles out there who seek out these little festivals and obscure theaters.
The audience was great enough at this point but they truly shined during both of the films and trailers that were shown. I had never been to this theater and I didn't know how exactly people acted towards these films. I didn't know if they actually saw these 70's flicks without cracking a smile because they were taking it serious or if they would laugh at the film and crack jokes. I mean, it's impossible to watch a film named "The Chinese Mack" without dying of laughter at what you are watching Luckily enough the whole audience was in on the joke and there was non stop laughter during everything that was shown. What was even better was that although everyone was laughing during these films, everyone was also respecting what they were watching. Everyone loved both films and both films recieved a lot of applause. It really was a great experience.
I even went with my dad, who I thought wouldn't "get" the films and he ended up loving everything. The audience, the films, the trailers, the cinema. Everything. He even wants to go see the rest of the festival as much as I want to now. This especially made me smile.
So yeah, it was tons of the fun. The two films I saw (Machine Gun McCaine, Wipeout!/The Boss) where both great. I will wrtie about them in a bit. The series of trailers that were shown were also tons of fun. My favorite one being "The Van" which is a film about a guy who just wants a "rockin van with some cool shag carpets, a disco ball, and an 8 track player" Lucky for me, this film is part of the fest and I can't wait to check it out.
The only bad thing I can say about the festival was that QT didn't show up because he's busy putting the final touches on Grindhouse. Still though, he sent a hand written introduction that he aksed to be read and he promised to show up most days. I really am curious to see what Tarantino has to be say about these films and I will hopefully be lucky enough to catch him doing an introduction a couple of times.