Monday, August 6, 2018

Lot's of Fun Times Coming Up for Me!

When I think of all the fun activities I will be participating in within the next 11 months, I am gobsmacked of just how lucky I am to be living my new life in So California, and having the means to do the things I want. Life is still far from perfect, but, with baby steps, it's going to get there! After a low keyed June and July have passed, I now look forward to a very active year ahead. And just as I wonder if it's all just too much, having too much upcoming planned fun, I think about the years I was seriously underemployed and worked at jobs beneath me - but were still legit jobs to pay bills but not be able to afford to do anything else; the time I was studying for my graduate degree in which I didn't do anything but study; and the last year before I made my big move to LA, I worked several jobs to save up for the move. All of these difficult, stressful, lean years were exactly in the past 10 years... years that I felt a dark cloud singled me out and lingered over me, poking me, reminding me of the constant bad luck streak I was suffocating in. There were a few moments of joy, but they were fleeting and rare.

Thankfully, that's all in the past. I truly believe that even for good people like me, you have to deal with bad shit, a continuous stream of bad luck in order to rise above it and gain control over your life so that you can live a life of happiness. So with those dark days in the deep recesses of my mind, I find myself planning grand adventures for myself so that I can treat myself and show the love that I have for myself. Below is a list of events that I'm looking forward to.

September: After a last minute change of plans just two weeks ago, I will be attending the Toronto Int'l Film Festival for the weekend of Sept 8-9. For the first time, I'll be flying in and out of Toronto to attend TIFF. It will be a quick visit, but it's also a test run for future short visits for this festival. If all goes well, I may consider shifting my annual family visit to October so that I can take the Friday off to fly to Toronto. But for this year, the weekend visit will suffice with what I want to see there.

Another film festival starts on 9/20 and ends 9/28 is the LA Film Festival. Last year I volunteered there and watched a few shorts. I don't know if I'll volunteer for them this year, but I do want to attend the festival to see a few films during the first weekend. I'm getting the sense that LAFF won't be in direct competition with TIFF, so if I want to experience fancy world premiere events, TIFF may demand my presence in the future.

The weekend of September 29th is my birthday weekend and I'll drive down to Dana Point in Orange County for the Ohana Festival featuring Eddie Vedder. At first I was just going down for that Saturday, but I decided that if I leave work 2 hours earlier, I can get a jump on traffic and arrive there Friday night to check into the hotel and enjoy my beach view for that evening. Then on Saturday, hang out on said beach for the all day music festival.

October: This will be the month that special screenings for Oscar bait films really begin so I will take advantage of as many as I can. Additionally, on the 12th, I'll see Nine Inch Nails in concert for the first time in nearly 5 years. So overdue!

November/December: Continuing to be home bound and enjoy the beginning of awards season. I don't know what my Christmas plans are yet. Maybe nothing since I'll be...

January: Attending the Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival. I purchased my 6 pack last week and I'll be able to select my films in mid-December. Again, attending for the first weekend only and driving there Friday evening Jan 4-6.

Feb/March: Nothing planned, but neck deep in the height of Oscar season.

April: I'm going to Weekend One Coachella 2019!!! I still can't believe it. This will be my first time and I'm going all out. I'm sure I'll love it, but if this will be my only time, I'm going to act as if it will be. It'll be a blast. And the weekend before, my family will be visiting me in LA so I will be busy with that too.

May: My trip to Italy!!!! I'll be visiting Milan, Crema, and Venice. I've always wanted to visit Italy and I know I will visit it again in a few years because I'll be breaking it up into two phases: Northern Italy 2019, and Southern Italy TBA within next five years.

June: Recuperate.

July: I am trying to attend the San Diego Comic Con in 2019, which will be its 50th anniversary, and it's expected to be even in more demand. Although I have booked a hotel for 3 nights, I don't know if I'll even be selected to qualify to even TRY to buy a badge. Yes, it's that intense. If I'm not selected to attend, I'll cancel the hotel, no big deal. This event is a want, not a NEED like the film festivals.

So as you can see, for the next 11 months, I have a fun busy calendar ahead and I'm so excited and grateful to be in this position at this point in my life. I couldn't do most of this if I didn't take a gamble with my life and moved to So Cal.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Quick Film Grade: Blindspotting (A-)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Quick Film Grade: Hot Summer Nights (B)

It was not my intentions to watch this film when it was first announced that it would be released this summer. But as my interest in Timothée Chalamet developed, I wanted to see this film, especially after the trailer. It's a decent film, Timmy's character, Daniel Middleton is slightly underdeveloped for the turns that his character takes which would help us understand and justify his actions, but in all, it's a good film and Timmy showcases a talent that we have come to expect from him.

Quick Film Grade: Mission Impossible:Fallout (A+)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I'm Going to TIFF 2018

If you asked me this past Saturday if I was going to the Toronto Int'l Film Festival, I would have said, 'Nope, not this year, maybe in a couple of years'. I've been attending TIFF every year since 2004, up until 2016 when a month later, I moved to California. So last year was the first year I missed TIFF, and I really missed it, but, needed a break from it due to all the craziness related to the expense of attending the festival. But on Monday, once I learned that Timothée Chalamet's anticipated follow-up role post-Call Me By Your Name, Beautiful Boy, is going to have its World Premiere at Toronto, I started to think... hmmm, is it possible for me to fly in and out of Toronto and not miss work? And the answer is: Hell Yes!

Instead of relying on a train or just a tank of gas, I now have to fly to Toronto, and I'm flying from Los Angeles. Once I made the decision to go, I determined that I could only fly out on the Friday redeye so that I could arrive bright and early Saturday, check into hotel, and be ready for a day of watching films. I would then leave 6pm on Sunday and arrive back in LA around 8:30 pm. I would be home by 11, just in time to go to bed and wake up fresh for work the next morning. Easy peasy! So it is done. Hotel booked, flight booked!

Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy
Although I won't be able to attend the gala for Beautiful Boy, I will try to get tickets to the second screening which is usually scheduled between 11 am and 3 pm on Saturday when the gala is on a Friday night. I'll be in town by then and can see it sometime that day. This year, I purchased the Flex 6 pack which will allow me to pick six films. I don't know if I'll be able to see six films that weekend as I'll want to hang back and enjoy my beloved Toronto and meet some new Club Chalamet friends, but I will see at least 3-4 films. I'm also a member of TIFF, so this will permit me the opportunity to secure tickets a little earlier before the general public.

I've definitely come a lonnnnnng way with TIFF. My first few years were a struggle to get tickets to screenings I wanted to see; affording accommodations (one year had to stay in a hostel); then about 5 years under the generosity of a host who is now a dear friend; to now - affording to attend TIFF under my own terms and financial affordability, and I like this evolution. I've been irritated with TIFF in the past few years of attendance with the long lines, general admission seat wars, not being able to see the red carpet, not a good selection of films, etc. I needed a break from TIFF after 13 straight years of attending. With the new changes at TIFF, I hope I'm able to enjoy it without it being a hassle and being reminded that I'm not a deep pocketed beloved VIP. I'm just a film lover doing what I can to attend a film festival.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Quick Film Grade: The First Purge (B)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Quick Film Grade: Sicario 2 - Day of Soldado (B+)

Introducing Club Chalamet

After I closed down a blog in May that I have been the editor of since 2008, and deleted the Facebook page, I told myself that I would not manage another fan community ever again. I would just sit my ass along the sidelines and just support a celebrity and enjoy the labor of love from another admin type fan/stan. But alas, it's not even two months after this proclamation, and here I am again, an admin of a message board for Timothée Chalamet! Danggit! LOL!

But before you roll your eyes in exasperation at me, allow me to explain. This past Wednesday, I just felt that the private DMs I was having with fans of Chalamet on Twitter required more space to be more free flowing in thoughts like permitting a fine bottle of red wine to breathe after uncorking and before drinking and sharing it with friends. Relying on DMs (direct message) as a way to engage in deep discourse about an actor was also very limiting in that I was only conversing with one person, and not several to get different points of views. So on Wednesday, 27 June, I had an epiphany to create a community message board for fans of Chalamet. Since the closing down of the previous fan community, I missed chatting with fans, and in that particular fandom, it has been at least 9 months since I had participated in a hearty, fun, and positive conversation with anyone on that topic. So I personally was missing out on being a part of an active discussion with like minded fans on a topic we were enthusiastic about.

I shared my idea with a few twitter friends and they supported my message board idea, and I quickly created a community name, Club Chalamet. I wanted the title to convey that it was for a group of Timothée Chalamet fans to all come together and support him. Although my focus is on the fan base that is older, 35+, the community is welcoming to all fans who are mature in their thinking and support of Timmy. I had been frustrated with some of the attitudes and behaviors of Timmy's younger fans (and even the older ones who should know better on how to act), and I just yearned for a place where a fan like me can publicly engage with other mature fans of Timmy.

To complement the message board, I created a Club Chalamet Twitter account to help promote and market the community. So in general, that's the update I have at the moment about my ongoing fan community admin support hobby gig. I'm quite excited about this venture because unlike my previous community, the message board truly will be a community endeavor, completely reliant upon fans joining and adding in their two cents to help the community thrive, while I will be the principle person marketing the community on twitter to help it grow. I will use this blog to write film reviews of Timmy's movies and film premieres/screenings/awards. I also anticipate huge news from Timothée within the next 8 months or so, and I want a community in place to provide the 100% support for him that I think he'll need and deserve.