So AFI Fest kicked off last night with the US premier of Emilio Esteves’ Bobby, and of course I was there (with a date!) The willcall line was painfully slow, but we had a good view of the step and repeat – Lindsay Lohan looks really good for a 40 year old! – so it wasn’t so bad. We made our way to our seats: 7th row, center, only to find what appeared to be the cast of Vice Academy had beat us to them. They insisted they were in the right spot, but wouldn’t stand up to actually check the number on their seats. They whined that it didn’t really matter, and finally made a big show of organizing themselves and their carelessly strewn about belongings so there was room for me and my date. What martyrs! Someone get those girls on the phone with Oprah!

And then the speeches started. Did no one hear my plea for one blanket clap at the end? It’s just in the interest of saving time (and my dainty palms.) Once you hit the half hour mark or 7th speaker, whichever comes first, it does start to get kind of funny. You can see the crowd get restless as the speaker appears to have started just thanking every person they see in the crowd…and the curtains…and the people who have ever been to this particular theater…and ducks…and the color yellow…

The movie was entertaining. I went into it thinking the story would focus on how Bobby Kennedy’s assassination affected a group of people, but it’s actually about a day in the life of guests and employees of the hotel where he was murdered. Some of the storylines were engaging, but there was an overabundance of two dimensional characters that were constantly upstaged by attractive extras in the background. The cinematography, however, was impressive, and the last 30 minutes, as heavy handed as they may have been, had me walking out of the theater feeling more positive about the film than I had for the first hour and a half.

Afterwards, my date escorted my to the reception, which was across the street at The Roosevelt Hotel. We talked to a good deal of people, all of whom had wonderful things to say about SAGIndie, which is always great to hear. Turns out one of the filmmakers we talked to was also an alumni of the Cannes Film Fest American Pavilion/Kodak Student Filmmaker program. Sometimes, when you’re a nobody like me, you attend these parties and because you’re in the industry but far enough removed that people aren’t following you around, it’s fun to pretend that you’re watching a wildlife show. SEE the actors in their natural habitat! WATCH as the common hangers-on surround their prey and POUNCE! LISTEN to people whine about the VIP area and how it’s not really VIP. AVOID the guys who approach you with the line "Hey, I saw you in the will call line and…"

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