Sunday, February 18, 2018

Award Season 2017 - The Screwing Over of Timothée Chalamet

Twice nominated BAFTA actor, Timothée Chalamet
I admit, I'm a bit more emotionally raw and invested in this awards season due to one particular performance: Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN). Since mid-November, I have been blown away by the subtle but astonishing performance of Timmy in this film, which I have seen it five times in the theater, the fifth and final time just last night. I have never seen a film more than twice at the theater, let alone five times. And the primary reason why I have enjoyed CMBYN so much is because of Timothée Chalamet. According to his wikipedia page, which keeps great tracking of his critics/guild award wins/nominations, Timothée has won 23+ honors for Best Actor and Breakthrough Performer, and most notably by the LA Film Critics, New York Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, London Film Critics, and Gotham Awards. Timothée won some of these awards very early on in the awards season which should have put him on the radar of the guilds. However, I have several theories as to why the critical wins did not translate to guild wins for this amazing actor.

1. The Golden Globes started off the awards season by giving Gary Oldman, an actor who has rabidly criticized the organization, and with this win, they sanctioned to the other guilds that Gary was going to be the designated Best Actor winner of 2017. Regardless of Gary's unfortunate comments about how Jews run Hollywood, apparently, to those very people who are a huge part of the voting block, all is forgiven. Even Gary was gobsmacked that he won. So to ensure a steamrolling path, Gary subsequently went on a talk show to even apologize for past assholish behavior, a much needed PR move orchestrated by his PR team and Focus Features, the studio behind his Darkest Hour film. The Golden Globes are a joke, but a fun and key awards joke that is great to win because it helps get the ball rolling for most winners. And in this case for Gary, beating Timothée off the bat like that in January, pretty much sealed the deal in the awards season in his favor. Even Timmy looked stunned that he didn't win as he was still high off the fumes of winning so many prestigious critics group wins. But alas, the guilds industry has another actor in mind. Additionally, with the suppression of news about Timmy's latest critical wins in the trades, it was obvious since mid-December that the trades were on Gary's side. Why promote the wins of the kid the industry doesn't want to win?

2. When it comes to the Best Actor award, the industry is set up to favor veteran actors, white males over 45. The voting base of these voting bodies are overwhelmingly straight white males over 55. They like to vote for men who are like them. Make of that what you will. Timothée Chalamet is not one of them. A huge strike #1 against him. Although Timmy came out the gates a winner with the critics, the awards machine went into full Gary mode and did what they do best in ensuring that their guy wins the guilds. With such a blemished personal record history on file about Gary, it is amazing, utterly spellbinding that he has sailed through this awards season like Teflon Don - nothing from his crazy past is coming back to haunt him during this critical awards giving time. Nothing!

3. A vote for Gary Oldman is not necessarily a vote FOR Gary Oldman, as it is a vote NOT going to Timothée Chalamet. This is a case of vote for the devil you know. The powers that be know that Gary has a crummy reputation, but he's a great character actor who has a wonderful 30+ years film career that is due to be rewarded. I now must admit defeat in acknowledging that there is no way in hell, the previously mentioned majority voting body of the guilds, is going to let a slight, just turned 22 year old pretty boy actor from New York, win their major awards. I held out 'idealist' hope that talent would trump politics, but I'm the fool in thinking this old establishment would suddenly change their ways, fuck transparency and blatant favortism for actors who are over 45. Regardless of how beautiful some of us think Timothée is, he's not a woman, and thus, not fuckable in the eyes of the straight white males (even in this #MeToo period) who hold the majority power in swaying votes towards a particular actor. Strike #2 against Timmy.

4. Timmy starred in a low-budget beautiful Indie film. This is strike #3. The Oscars aren't fond of awarding itty bitty independent films made with less than $4 million. That doesn't impress them. Recently, and by design of a certain film studio hell bent on having their actor win the Oscar, is the sponsoring of articles that feature so-called Oscar voters to discuss who they plan to vote for. One of these silly voters actually claimed that CMBYN is 'too indie' and therefore they will not vote for it. Gee, what a great way to taint the voting process you fucking idiot! This is yet another example of the bias, and the blatant, shameful practice of manipulating the voting process in support of particular actors. Oscar voters need big productions, loud sounds, A-list stars, particularly, A-List cool older dudes. Oscar voters aren't too impressed or comfortable with gay films. Oscar voters are uncomfortable with a gay film featuring a young man who really does look 16 falling in love with a man who looks closer to 30. Oscar voters don't like newcomers too much, especially actors under 30. They'll nominate them and call that their reward until they put in the time to prove themselves in ways that their female counterparts don't have to. Also, with Moonlight and its Supporting Actor winning last year for political reasons, there was no way that the Oscars was going to permit a lead actor in a gay film, let alone permit said gay themed film win Best Picture two years in a row. A political organization using politics to pre-determine winners is no coincidence!

Timothée in London
Amazingly, Timothée Chalamet has lost every single televised guild award this season to Gary Oldman. Again, this is all by design. Timothée Chalamet wants to win, he wanted to win the awards he was nominated for. To say that he did not is foolish. This is a young man who confessed in his recent interviews that he doesn't know what else to do other than be an actor. He left Columbia to pursue his acting career because he couldn't study and go on casting calls at the same time. His mother pleaded with him to finish his degree as a back up plan, but Timmy knew what he wanted to do with his life. Columbia is one of the top universities in the world, and he gave that up to be a full time actor! And to be so awarded in his first lead role does wonders for one's self confidence and ego, and convinces one that they are indeed on the right career track of being an actor. But yet, to lose time and time again, and so publicly has to hurt, it has to be a kick in the gut. And I think that final kick happened today in London at the BAFTAs where Timmy couldn't even win in the Rising Star Award, an award voted for by the British public. The key is British Public Vote. The British vote for their own. Timothée Chalamet was well known enough to be nominated in the first place, but for him to lose out really shocked me and was the main reason for this blog post. Timmy was nominated in two categories, Best Actor and Rising Star and he lost both out to British guys. This was cruel and embarrassing, especially since they had the audacity to place him in the front row of the BAFTAs where he sat there and looked straight up at the two guys who beat him.

One positive thing I will say about Timothée is how he has managed to remain so professional, friendly, sweet, happy, and mature during this awards season. I think he has been coached by his management team on how to deal with the disappointment of these award ceremonies, and he has been prepped on what to expect as the season rolls out and not winning the acclamation he deserves. Yet, he dresses up in the finest designer suits, and looks absolutely handsome at each award show as he is now coming to understand that the industry has already selected this year's Best Actor winner.

I will not be watching the Oscars because I already know who is going to win, and none of the actors/actresses who are going to win are compelling enough for me to tune in and watch them be GIVEN their Oscars. As I tweeted the other day, if the current line up of industry favorites win, their ages of the four people are between 49-60. If these thespians win, this will be the most mature Oscar winners photo op in recent memory. This is not the time for hot millennial guys - they still need to wait until they grow up and prove themselves per Hollywood expectations. For people to say that Timmy will win an Oscar in the future... well, when will that happen exactly? No human being knows when they are going to die, so what comfort shall Timmy take in thinking he'll get it at 25, 35 or 45 when waking up tomorrow is not guaranteed for any human being? Recall how AMPAS toyed with Leonardo DiCaprio for all those years, just because they could? They screwed him over to the point where the man reached the age of 40 (the 'ok, it's safe to give the manboy his Oscar now' age ), paid $10 million to charities (double his usual charitable contributions), and he sought the blessing of the Pope weeks before Oscar voting in 2016. Just Google pictures of him with the Pope!That's how desperate and thirsty Leo got, and I'm sorry he had to wait 10 years over his due to get his Oscar. I don't want this to happen to Timothée!

It's my hopes that Timothée wins his Best Actor Oscar much, much sooner than later because if he's showing this potential at 20-22, he's on track to getting it within the next 6 years, and he'll still be on track to be the youngest man to win the Best Actor Oscar, a piece of gold plated metal that we cinephiles place too much damn value on.

All bets are now on the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3 which are awards designed to award Indie performances just like Timothée's as the Oscar is designed for Oscar bait thirsty career performances like Gary's. But as things played out today, I will wait with bated breath until Timothée's name is called as Best Actor for the Spirit Award. If he wins that, this award will make up for all the bullshit politics he tolerated since January 14th. However this award season ends, Hollywood now knows Timothée Chalamet, and perhaps one day in the future, they'll feel comfortable awarding him the highest honor in the industry.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My First Industry Voting Experience (updated)

UPDATE 2/12/18: I just received notification that I have been selected to volunteer all day at the Spirit Awards! I will see the program live, and see all the celebrities in attendance. I'm very happy to be a part of a production that is the Oscars of the Indie film world.

I became a member of Film Independent a few months ago so that I could establish myself as an 'industry peer' when it comes to reviewing films, attending special screenings, and actually voting for the Independent Spirit Awards. Over the past several weeks, I have been watching films that have been nominated for the upcoming awards, and I have been volunteering at the screening series as well. So I have been busy with these new responsibilities and enjoying this experience as well. I'm happy to report that I participated in my first voting duties for Film Independent, and it was seamless and fun. Now, if luck is on my side, which it has been as of late, I will be selected to help volunteer at the Spirit Awards on March 3rd. Part of my volunteer work at the recent Spirit Awards screening series at the Arclight in Culver City is a prerequisite before being selected to help at the awards show. Since I did three separate volunteer shifts, and another volunteer stint next week at the Director's Close Up 2018 talks, I think I'll make the cut. And in doing so, I will have met and exceeded some personal goals I have in being a part, even a small part, of the entertainment industry.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Timothée Chalamet at Los Angeles Film Critics' Association Gala

LAFCA Best Actor Timothée & Best Director Luca Guadagnino
Just ten days after my Palm Springs Film Festival gala red carpet fan interaction quickie with Call Me By Your Name actor, Timothée Chalamet, I finally got his autograph and a selfie with him as he was attending the LAFCA gala to receive his Best Actor award at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. I have been aware of this event for over a month since this prestigious critic's group announced their winners in early December. But only until this past Thursday did I get the epiphany to just go to the hotel and see if I could capture his red carpet moment. After all, LAFCA awarded CMBYN with Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Director (tied with Del Toro), so this was a big CMBYN event. I prepared myself to leave empty handed or not being able to see anything, but the Type A planner than I am, I arrived at the hotel around 11:30 am to scope it out and see if I could gather some information about the event that will be held at the hotel.

The hotel kiosk directory had the day's schedule listed and it showed that the LAFCA event was going to start at 6pm with cocktails and the gala at 7pm. Perfect! This gave me more than enough time to do some shopping at Century City Westfield mall, catch the 12:30 pm showing of The Post at AMC (which was brilliant by the way), and eat lunch before heading back to the hotel around 4pm. As I arrived back at the hotel, the red carpet was just being set up, so I enjoyed free hotel wi-fi and sat in the cozy lounge area of this fancy hotel for the next two hours.

At this time, I was starting to feel positive about having a good view of the red carpet. I just sat in the lobby using the wi-fi and reading my current issue of Variety. There were no other obvious fans around, just the people setting up the event. However, as time got closer to the start of the cocktail time, the first red carpet arrivals arrived promptly. The first was Michael Stuhlbarg, and then I noticed producer Peter Spears. Shortly afterwards, I saw director Luca Guadagnino. They all spent a good amount of time on the red carpet talking to the press. I noticed the fan crowd was starting to swell a bit, but it was mostly hotel guests being looky loos and curious about what was going on. Michael went into the hotel lobby pretty quickly after he finished speaking with the press, but Luca and Peter were on the hunt for Timmy because he wasn't there yet. I over heard them saying, 'Where's Timmy it's getting late?' And so Luca went back to the front of the hotel driveway looking out for Timmy's sedan. Meanwhile, Peter was talking to a PR type person, and I gently tapped him on the arm and excused myself for interrupting, and I just told him how much I enjoyed Call Me By Your Name, and that I've seen it 3 times and that I wanted to wish him good luck with the Oscars. He said, Thank You, with a smile and did a hapchang (Buddhist like standing bow).

Soon after that, I kept my eye on the area that Luca was standing at and suddenly, there was Timothée coming out of a sedan, all full of smiles. Luca gave him a great big hug, and that's when Peter and Michael went over to them so they can take some red carpet photos. But first, the publicist wanted pictures of Timmy by himself, and the photographers went hog wild. He went up the red carpet twice to have the photographers get their pics of him. Then there was the group photos, and then Timmy briefly spoke with each reporter there. As he got closer to where I was standing, there were now at least 20 young girls. I don't know if a fairy just dropped them off, but, there they were, like on cue. Security told me that the guests weren't going to sign autographs, so that bummed me out, so I had to try to get a selfie. I've never taken a selfie with a celebrity and it's not something I want to do again, but it feels like the biggest high five when you get it. Just as the last word came out of Timmy's mouth with the last reporter at the end of the red carpet, me and another girl at the same time asked for a selfie and he said sure. So that's how I got mine. It's not the best quality but Timmy looked fine in my photo. Thankfully, later this evening on Twitter, one of the journalist covering the LAFCA event posted a picture of me and Timmy taking my selfie (see below). Apparently he was that last reporter at the end of the red carpet (@marcmalkin).

Security and the PR people tried to steer Timmy into the hotel, but that's when the cute swarm of tweens came to him asking for pictures. They were very nice kids and Timmy being Timmy was more than happy to take pictures with them. He was recorded giving a shout out to a prolific NY stan dude that was posted on twitter, and he met a couple girls he has seen before. Just as he signed one girl's CMBYN book, I pulled out my Gay Times November 2017 magazine that had that 15 page cover article on the film. I asked Timmy to sign the magazine and he did. That's what I wanted from him. A tangible piece of memorabilia from an actor that I really adore in just these amazingly short 7 weeks. I'm totally going to frame this bad boy!!

I am so happy that I followed through on this crazy spontaneous plan to just drive to the hotel and plot my logistics on how to hang out along the red carpet of this special event to celebrate Timothée Chalamet as the Best Actor of 2017 from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association. This is a tough group of critics and for any actor to be named the best actor by them, truly is the best actor of that year. I am completely satisfied with this experience and I don't need to get another selfie with him or get another autograph. If I'm lucky to be at an event he's at, I'll happily take pictures of him again, but I don't need to wash, rinse, repeat with him. I'm good. I'm so lucky to be living in Los Angeles now, none of this would have happened in Michigan. It's so much fun being able to celebrate a worthy actor's phenomenal success with him and with my readers.

Timmy and half my head taken by @marcmalkin

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Palm Springs Film Festival Gala with Timothée Chalamet

I had the pleasure to attend my second Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival Awards Gala last night, January 2nd. And the primary reason for my attending was to witness Timothée Chalamet receiving his Rising Star - Male award, an honor he definitely deserved due to his critically acclaimed performance in Call Me By Your Name. I have seen Timmy in a few performances in the past, namely in Interstellar, but he was just another cute young actor in supporting roles. However, all that changed on Monday, November 27th, when I attended a special LA Times screening of Call Me By Your Name in Sherman Oaks. CA. I not only had my mind blown by this beautiful film, but there was a Q&A with Luca, Armie, Michael and Timothée. I was so impressed with Timmy that I started to pay close attention to his social media and his established fans on the internet. Needless to say, I've learned a lot about him and the film in a short amount of time. And now just five weeks later, I'm mesmerized by this actor and I'm rooting for him all the way to win the Oscar. And speaking of that, since many of you are just now becoming familiar with my blog, I have been following the Oscars very closely since the early 90s, and this coming awards season, I will be writing specifically covering the Best Actor race. But more on this tenuous situation later.

A few days after my first viewing of CMBYN, I received an email from the PS Film Festival with an update about the honorees for this year's gala. When I saw that Timmy was going to be honored, I bought one of the last remaining tickets to attend. So fast forward to last night, I attended the gala and had a seat at a table near the back, but it was a prime spot in the back because nearly everyone passed by my table to go to the bar or restrooms/lobby. So I saw loads of celebrities and important industry people pass by me. And saw Armie Hammer and his wife Elizabeth pass by a few times. And only during their second trip past me, as Elizabeth was going back to her table, that's when I noticed where she was sitting, just 7 tables away from me. And there was Timothée sitting there, laughing and talking to others at the table. It would have been inappropriate to go to the table to bother him at that time, so I figured once the event ended, I would try to go over and get a picture. But alas, not 10 minutes later, their table got up and left to go to the Parker Hotel after party. But since I knew where he was sitting, I figured I could go there and see if I could take a picture of his name plate. However, as I got there, his table did not have name cards, but I knew the seat he sat at, and he left his program on the floor next to his chair, and the bottom edge of the program is dented a little due to him shifting his chair against the program while it was on the floor. Timmy also left his crystal Buddha that all guests got. So, I nabbed those two things and figured they would make a great giveaway contest gift to a rabid Chalamet Cheerleader. Here is what the program and Buddha figurine look like.

In good condition, Timmy's chair crinkled it.

The page featuring Timothée.

The Swarovski blue Buddha figurine Timmy left behind.

To enter this contest giveaway, respond to this tweet with a number between 1300 to 2000 (hint, it's the table number I sat at) through Sunday, Jan 7th at 9pm EST . It's like a digital raffle, it's the best way to find the winner who gets closest to the table number. The winner will be announced on Monday, Jan 8th. Contest is limited to US shipping address.

Lastly, here is a video of me on the red carpet. You won't see me, but you'll hear me. I hesitated to share this because I sound like an idiot. Everyone is positioning themselves to get Timmy's pic and I'm trying ask one of those ladies to get a picture of me giving Timmy that little bag of candy peaches. Mission accomplished (see first image at top of article).

In closing, keep an eye on this blog as I'll be analyzing the Best Actor Oscar race this season in support of Timothée. He's up against a so-called 'lock' and, it's my belief that although it's a tight race, and a lot of people want to be lazy and give the Oscar to the more seasoned Actor, I think with Timothée's beautiful work, and the great PR he's getting from winning prestigious critics awards, he can turn the long established tide of age discrimination and bias against actors under the age of 30.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

What a Year: 2017 Review

As 2017 comes to a close, I want to acknowledge some of the highlights and low lights of this year that have happened to me. You know the saying, what doesn't kill you, just makes you stronger, and I end this year a stronger person!

I hated my former jobs.
I started this year off just being in Los Angeles for a couple of months. I had a starter job that I took just to be working in my new home state. It soon became a job I desperately wanted to leave, and thankfully, I was able to not only find a new job in late March, but at a place very close to home. You are extremely lucky to live in the Los Angeles area and have a short commute to work. It's a blessing really. But yet again, as I realized my first year in LA would be a year of transition, the second job wasn't much better, but at least it was more manageable than my first job. Knowing the job search in So Cal is like having a full time job because it takes so much time to look for suitable jobs to apply to, and make yourself available for job interviews, often at a distance to travel. The chess game of  thinking of persuasive excuses to come in later to work or leave early, or take a longer lunch, really tests one's level of creativity, and acting abilities. After wasting a LOT of time with interviewers/companies who played unprofessional games, and dead end/black hole interview processes, I was able to land a nice contract assignment at an employer I have been wanting to get into since I moved to LA. This company works exclusively with select agencies, and after a CIA level background check, once you are accepted for an assignment, you have your foot in the door to be hired permanently when the opportunity arrives. I have literally found the company that I want to retire from. Short of having a company that is part of the entertainment industry ring me up and offer me a job, I don't need to apply for another job at another company again. I'm set. So, thank you to the universe for throwing this opportunity my way.

Working on the periphery of the entertainment industry is fine with me.
Although my goal of getting a paid job in the entertainment industry did not pan out - far too many games and it being very competitive, I will be fine with continuing volunteer opportunities and participating in film festivals as side hobbies. In a blog post I'll write later this week, I have the Palm Springs film festival and gala that I'll be attending this week. Meanwhile, I'm waiting to hear back from the Film Independent people to see if I have been approved to be a volunteer with them this year, which will allow me to work at the Spirit Awards in March in Santa Monica. I worked with the group of people who will decide my fate at the LA Film Festival. I can be a part of the entertainment industry in a creative capacity that will allow me access to events that I could have only dreamed of when I lived in Michigan.

Another great thing that happened in 2017, in my new home of LA, are the concerts and events I was able to attend. I saw some great shows at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Rose Bowl. I saw U2 and Depeche Mode for the first time in 16 years! I last saw these two bands back in 2001 when I lived in New York City, way on the other side of the country! I also saw Coldplay give the best concert I have seen in years, and sadly, but fortunately, I was able to see Tom Petty for  the first and only time on September 23. He would die just a week later from cardiac arrest. This year also saw me achieve credit worthiness at a level which allowed me to open up much needed lines of credit so that I can have more flexible spending to meet personal and professional needs. A new credit card allowed me to buy a $650 Hamilton ticket for my birthday in September. Membership is indeed priceless.

Call Me By Your Name
I saw a lot of movies this year, and a few of them were at special screenings where Q&As occurred. My favorite film this year was Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN) - be warned, I will be writing a lot about this film this coming awards season. I have seen it three times so far, and in the new year, sometime in January, I'll see it for the 4th time. The last time I saw a movie at the theater three times was The Silence of the Lambs. CMBYN resonated with me and affected me personally in so many ways that it's hard to describe or share. All I'll say is that it's a beautiful love story that came at a time where I have been exhausted by all the evil that is going on in the world, everyday political news, and my own personal struggles with my mentally and physically exhaustive job search. Love does cheer a heart up and I'm so in love with CMBYN. 

1. Call Me By Your Name 2. Blade Runner 2049 3. Three Billboards in Ebbings, Missouri 4. The Shape of Water 5. Mudbound 6. Wonder Woman 7. The Big Sick 8. Logan 9. Lady Bird 10. Get Out

I will be very active here at Theatre of Zen in the coming months as I prepare to write about my volunteer experience at the Spirit Awards, my voting abilities for the Spirit Awards, and the upcoming Golden Globes and Oscars, and the awards between those two. It's pretty clear to me that I moved to a city that will allow me to fulfill my professional career and ambitions, as well as allow me to pursue my creative interests in support of the entertainment industry, and I'm excited to share my experiences with my readers!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Golden Globes 2018 Nominees

I was so excited this morning to learn that my two favorite films this year have been nominated for multiple Golden Globe awards. Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN) received three nominations in Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Picture. It's too bad that the Best Director ignored Luca Guadagnino, but I think the Oscars will recognize him, he really deserves that honor, even though he won't win. And why not? Because Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water is the director I think should win this year, and his film received seven Golden Globe nominations.

I plan to see Call Me and Shape of Water at least once more in the theater in the coming weeks. If I see CMBYN once more, it will be for the fourth time and that will be the most I have seen a film during its theatrical run. Another film I wanted to see that received several GG nominations today is I, Tonya. I had a ticket to see the movie on Saturday along with the cast Q&A, but Toyota in Pasadena found something broken on my car and thankfully the warranty covered it, but, it added on 3 hours to my already long visit at the shop. So I had to cancel the Q&A.

I'm so happy to have found some interesting films and performances to support this Oscar season. I am no longer focusing as much attention on another actor who seems to have put acting on hold, and this just allows me to enjoy the work of artists who deserve the praise for their brilliant hard work.

The Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) award nominations are this Wednesday, and if CMBYN does well there in the acting categories, it's safe to say that both Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer will receive well deserved Oscar nominations in January.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Twitter Brand Change

I created my Twitter account way back in May of 2009. And since I'm a creature of habit, I have been using the same name handle (@FassFass) and an image of an actor all this time. As of today, I changed my Twitter to @Theatreof Zen and I uploaded my own personal picture. Now that I'm in LA and really exploring the world of film with a first hand perspective, I need my Twitter account to reflect a bit more professionalism, and correlate it to my actual hobby of being the editor of this blog. It's been a long time coming and it's a relief to finally make this change to focus on my branding. I will continue to focus on current events, politics, and the entertainment industry.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Reasons I'm Living in LA!

As the month of November is coming to a close, I find myself stopping and thinking to myself that one of the primary reasons why I moved to Los Angeles is to be a part of the machinations of the film industry. I have accepted the fact that I will not find a career job within the industry, but I could still enjoy it very much by being on the periphery and enjoying film screenings, celebrity Q&As, and attending film festivals. Just in the past week, I have made big decisions that will permit me to be a part of a fascinating world that is part of the entertainment industry.

Firstly, I went ahead and joined Film Independent at the Film Lover level so that I can vote in the upcoming Film Independent Spirit Awards. This is a big step in the direction I need to take to become even more active in the industry, meet people, and be exposed to more films via free screenings so that I can write more about the films I love. Additionally, at the Film Lover level, I will receive screeners of the films that have been nominated for Spirit Awards. This is a huge deal, and a lot of responsibility comes with this voting ability. So I'm super excited about this next venture in my hobby life. I have been so disappointed and stressed out with my job search and with my other blog in which the muse of my blog has taken a different turn in his life at the moment. But all that be as it is, I'm grateful for my love of cinema which has allowed me to escape the crap of life and enjoy beautiful films.

Timothée Chalamet

In recent weeks, I have seen the Justice League (B+), and The Shape of Water (A), and Call Me By Your Name ( Review: A) - a film that I will see for a third time this Saturday, which will be another Q&A with cute Timothée Chalamet and director Luca Guadagnino. I love this film so much, and with Timmy winning the highly coveted and influential NY Film Critic's Circle Best Actor on Thursday, he now seems to have a clear road to receiving an Oscar nomination, and with enough good will and luck for him, he could actually win. But that's a different blog post at the right time.

And another big event I'm looking forward to is driving to my beloved Palm Springs to attend the Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival Gala on January 2nd. As I write this article, the general seats are still available at $350 a pop. Trust me, this is a good bargain because when I attended the Gala in January 2016, I had to pay $1000 to attend, and I was squeezed in as a favor. But I got my ticket weeks earlier and I will be attending with my Canadian snowbird friends again. Timothee will be an honoree for the Rising Star Award - Actor, and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) will receive the Rising Star Award - Actress. More celebrities will be announced, but you can see the tentative list here. I consider myself to be so lucky to be able to attend an event like this. And then I will drive back to Palm Springs to watch a few movies Jan 5-7.

Being in LA is allowing me to live out my interests of participating in events that support the film industry. If I can't be in a paid creative part of the industry, I can be a spectator up close.