Monday, October 11, 2010

Filmy, film, film..A Flagstaff Zeitgeist

Me, Janna Jones and Kristi Frazier, at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival Director's party.
Between the three of us (and other hard-working cineastes,) we brought 4 days of solid film to Flagstaff this weekend.
  Have you ever heard someone say, "If you don't like it, you should just leave"? 

  I have, and I think it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.  If I decided to move every time there was something that I didn't like about my hometown, I'd be relocating every other week!

  When Movies at the Mall closed down 4 or so years ago, a bunch of people in Flagstaff didn't like it.  They didn't like it at all--but they didn't leave.  This dedicated group of people, many of them my closest friends, decided to stay in Flagstaff, and try to bring film back.  Nobody sat down and said, "let's do it!"  It was just a rising up of interest and passion--a film zeitgeist.  And eventually, we all found each other, and found others in town that loved film too.
  And the result, 4 years later, is a weekend like last weekend.  If you left your house at all last week, you couldn't help but be inundated with film.  There was film on campus, film downtown, even film at the bars! 

  "It seems like in the last 4 years I've seen film picking up in Flagstaff and there's more interest," said my friend Kristi Frazier, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival board member and director of marketing.  "People are more educated than ever, and there's a greater diversity of films that come to the community because of it."

  It's true.  People all over are getting involved in making more film happen in our little mountain town.  Can anyone say "the next Telluride?"  

  For instance, the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival celebrated its biggest year ever, and announced their film winners on Sunday:  The winner for Best Feature was "Gasland;"  The Jury Award went to "Waste Land;"  Best Action Sport was "Eastern Rises;"  Best Short was "The Wonder Hospital" and the Best Human Interest and Cultural Film was "Sun Come Up.

  And on campus there was the Fashion Film Festival.  Lots of students got involved, and the Fashion Merchandising program in the School of Communication did two fashion shows.  I think I talked to 4 people who wanted to buy the stuff they saw on the "runway." 

Fashion merchandising students at their vintage fashion show.  Photo by Astrid Klocke.  
  If you missed seeing stuff on the big screen, and you are starting to feel a little left out, don't worry.  You can still catch three free films this week!
Tuesday:  "Strangers on a Train,"  7 p.m. Cline Library Assembly Hall
Wednesday:  "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" (USSR, 1980), directed by Vladimir Menshov.
  Winner "Best Foreign Language Film" at the 1980 Academy Awards,  7 pm, Liberal Arts 135.
 Thursday:  "Roja,"  a South Indian film, 7 p.m., Liberal Arts, Rm. 135
 All of these screenings are free and open to the community.

   The film options are enough to silence anyone who still complains about the Harkins monopoly.  When I traveled to Portland this summer, I was jealous of their screen options.  I almost moved there, just because of the film.  But I decided to stay, and I'm so excited to be a apart of a movement towards film HERE.  I love this town.  Because I love Flagstaff so much, I'm willing to put effort, passion, and time towards making it the kind of place I want to live in.  And so are a lot of other people.

  Instead of "If you don't like it, why don't you leave," how about "Be the change you want to see in the world"?

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