I slept through 12 minutes of NPR chatter when my alarm went off at 5 AM on Thursday morning, leaving me only a half hour to shower before Matthew picked me up to catch our 8AM flight. God bless the Cuban coffee at OIA! At the gate we ran into Mikki (FFF2005) and Roger Moore from the Sentinel. Mikki thought Roger was Jay and told us how she always disagreed with his reviews (a point we cleared up later). The plane was empty enough so that Matthew and I each had our own row. There was no hassle at customs and we shared a cab with Mikki to our hotel.
A brief up hill walk to Sutton Place later, we got our badges and bags of goodies (mostly junk) and ate our traditional first day lunch at Biscotti's, a great little Italian place next to Sutton. I went off to see SHOPGIRL, a Steve Martin pet project based on his novella and SHADOWBOXER, a disturbing turn for everyone in it, Cuba Gooding, Helen Mirren, Stephen Dorff, and Joseph Gordon Levitt (although last year's Mysterious Skin was his first leap into the disturbing).
I bolted back to the hotel room and passed out for a while before Matthew and I set up our schedule for Day Two and headed off to the opening night party. The party has become increasingly hard to get into and less worth it at the same time. Where were all the press, programmers, and distribs? It was mostly the public and sponsors. But the event itself is still amazing. The Indian themed food (Deepa Mehta's EARTH was the opening night film) featured guys making nan in drum barrels in the courtyard and the most bizarre but tasty French fries with chicken, ricotta and a curry tomato sauce...
Mikki was hob nobbing with the fest founders and on her fifth party of the day...Coldplay's Chris Martin was chillin' in the corner (Matthew dared me $10 a la Ed to go up and tell him how much I like Travis, but that's only $7.50 American so I declined)...later we did find our indieWIRE friends and Matt from SXSW but we were already exhausted and headed back for some much needed sleep.
Store name of the day: Mr. Cheapies