Tuesday, January 8, 2013

let's go make a picture*

You know what your problem is, it's that you haven't seen enough movies - all of life's riddles are answered in the movies.
Steve Martin (b.1945)  actor, comedian, writer, playwright, musician

today's tattoo is an interesting anniversary/commemorative tattoo;  i've been wanting to take a photo of bill's arm since i began tattoo tuesday.   last night i finally got the opportunity during a party for the cleveland international film festival's selection committee.

one can consider the tattoo as a work in progress,  bill adds a frame to commemorate each year he has worked the cleveland international film festival (ciff).  the count as of last night is fifteen - one frame and the slovak coat of arms has been added since the last time i examined bill's tat,  that was last march during the 36th ciff.   bill was way to busy during the festival to strike a pose for me, and truth be told, during the festival,  i'd rather be sitting in the dark watching the pictures than running around taking pictures

in my opinion, bill probably has one of the greatest jobs around - he is the artistic director for the film festival. it is a lot of responsibility and very challenging, but it also means he gets to travel the world and attend film festivals,  meet and talk with filmmakers and others in the business, and promote the cleveland festival and encourage filmmakers to submit their work here.  if steve martin's quote above is correct, the job also offers the opportunity to solve life's riddles -  bill remarked that he probably sees around 600 films a year -- i figure that's probably "enough movies."

last night's party is ciff's annual winter thank you to the dozens of volunteers who serve on the selection committee. we are winding down the review process - each person on the committee starts watching films in september and it is usually early to mid january when we finish.  over the course of five months we each watch scores of films (the number depends on whether one is doing primarily shorts or full length narratives or documentaries).  each person makes a commitment to review a set of films each week; we each evaluate the films and write reviews.  each film that is submitted to the festival is evaluated by three individuals and the best are sent along to the programming staff for consideration in the festival.  it's pretty much a herculean task given the thousands of films which are submitted.

the party it is always a good time - it isn't often i have an opportunity to hang out and talk with others who are doing what i'm doing for the festival.   we are all very passionate about our work and film in general. we are also proud of cleveland's growing presence in the festival community (although we aren't in the top 10 - yet - we are included in the 50 leading film festivals of the world - not bad considering there are literally thousands of film festivals!) along with being an established and well-regarded festival, cleveland is increasingly becoming regarded as a center for film-making - for both independent films and for big budget 'hollywood' movies.

Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
Ingrid Bergman ( 1915-1982) actor

*line from the song ingrid bergman.

woody guthrie wrote ingrid bergman, but it wasn't recorded until decades after woody's death after it was discovered in the woody guthrie archives. woody left behind an astounding number of unrecorded songs; since the late 1990s, woody's daughter nora guthrie, has been working with a number of musicians to set woody's songs to music. the result is a growing number of albums of woody songs that sadly were never recorded by woody.

perhaps the best known of these albums are the mermaid avenue recordings by billy bragg and wilco. the first of the mermaid avenue albums was released in 1998, the third mermaid avenue volume was released in 2012 to commemorate guthrie's 100th birthday and is included in mermaid avenue: the complete sessions. the song ingrid bergman, appears on mermaid avenue, volume one, billy bragg wrote the music.



Megan said...

Awesome. Over the last few years I have read many of your posts on the subject of the Film Festival and enjoyed every one. It looks like so much fun!

Steve Reed said...

Interesting tattoo. I wonder what he'll do when he runs out of arm?

tut-tut said...

what a great job!