Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Peek at True/False

Tuesday night was the night to reserve tickets for the True/False documentary film festival. We've been waiting patiently since last year's festival ended and we bought our passes for this year. This is by far the best thing that happens in COMO every year.

There was a mad rush for reservations on the festival's website as films were being booked in front of our eyes. Apparently, several people we know had trouble getting the films they desired..That is, except for some out-of-state friends who did rather well. I don't begrudge them their good fortune. I just wonder why they got all their films when people here had so many problems. Whatever.

Anyway, we have tickets reserved for some films (a few that are oddly during the same time slot) and some films ear-marked as a possible Q. The "Q" refers to the system where people without tickets wait in line to see if there will be extra seats. Those with passes go to the front of the Q. I've never heard of anyone being turned away, but with the growing popularity of the festival anything is possible.

The first film may be a Q film. Gaea Girls plays at the 'Tag around 5 pm to get the festival off to a great start. I will have to take some time from work on that day to be in line for this one. The film tells the gritty story of Japanese female professional wrestlers. It doesn't look nearly as fake as the American counterpart.

The next film is the opening night flick at the Missouri. Waltz with Bashir is one of the most acclaimed films of the year, nonfiction or otherwise. This animated film tells the story of a former Israeli soldier in Palestine.

I may try to sneak into the Q for the late showing of Glastonbury Kids at the 'Tag. In a post-Jackass world, even kids in the UK yearn to do stupid things.

For some reason, we were unable to reserve any films for Saturday morning. So, in the Q we'll wait. Our hope is to slip into Necrobusiness, a film about crooked funeral directors and ambulance drivers in Poland. It would be a shame not to fit a film into Saturday morning. (Hopefully the film will have English subtitles.)

We are set to return to the Missouri for Reporter, one of the festival's top draws. Reporter follows a New York Times journalist as he travels and documents the poverty and violence in Congo. The twist is that Nicholas Kristoff, the reporter in the title, makes some ethically questionable choices along the way.

It will be two-in-a-row for reserved films at the Missouri with Rough Aunties. This doc won the festival's True Vision Award. The film follows a tough group of women in South Africa who take care of orphaned children.

We move to Stephens' campus to check out Crude. Ecuadorian Amazon residents take on big oil companies and their polluting ways.

The Windsor is where we'll stay to see Food, Inc. We're obsessed with food, especially locally grown, organic food. However, the state of food is heading in a troubling direction. This film explains our predicament.

R and I do have a ticket for Sunday morning. The Mosque in Morgantown holds a special interest for R. She lived in West Virginia for a while and is often drawn to anything that explores the unique stories in that state. Being from Ohio, I usually just make fun of West Virginia. However, I think I'll keep my humor in check for this flick.

Next up will either be Q time for War Against the Weak or Love on Delivery. Both films were high on our pre-reservation lists, but we were shut out. War covers the Eugenics movement and its close ties to Nazism. Love follows Thai women who move to Denmark to marry lonely men. This is really the only tough decision we'll make all weekend.

If we don't get in for one of these films, we at least have a ticket for Burma VJ. I'm sure many of you remember the tragedy at the hands of Burma's military a while back. This film chronicles the video footage shot by some brave Burmese activists.

The weekend closes with The Yes Men Fix the World. If you have ever seen their work on the Internets, then you realize what we're in for. The Yes Men set up fake corporate websites in order to be asked to speak on various corporation's behalf, but instead of promoting these companies the Yes Men expose them. It should be a good way to end the weekend.

I know I've complained about the ticket situation, but I still think it will be a great festival. It was really hard to pick between films this year. Hopefully the Q won't let us down. I'll have more to share. Stay tuned.


scotty said...

I got shut out of a couple films last year, so I said that's it, T/F is too important to me, and I got my first Lux pass this year.

Registration was a breeze, got everything I wanted.

Then I did tickets Tuesday night for three friends with Simple passes. Holy clusterfuck! Database errors all over the place ... the cool new Ajax ticketing system let you see movies as they went "NRT" (T/F doesn't use the term "Sold Out")... so these movies would literally drop off the ballot as you were filling out the ballot. This was supposed to make your job easier but instead just caused panic, hurry up, hurry up!

I was on at 9:00:30 -- I know because I'd tried to log in 30 seconds earlier and the system wasn't open yet -- and shows were dropping dead all around me. Bang! Bang!

One friend called at 9:45 and needed help with his tickets: I think at least half the non-Missouri Theater films were sold out by that point, 45 minutes in.

Start saving now! Invest in a Lux pass next year!

...but the Q system WORKS, if you show up early enough. People routinely attend only 70% of the films they reserve tickets for. This means there are dozens of Q seats at every show...

comoprozac said...

Thanks for the 411, Scotty. I may have to talk to R about a Lux next year.

Personally, I think the system should hold your spot in line like Ticketmaster does.

Oh well. It looks like lots of time in the Q for me.