Thursday, 3 March 2016
Hail, ADIFF16! - My experience at this year's Dublin Film Festival
So another Dublin Film Festival over for another year sadly but 2016's festival proved to be one of the best.
First off, the fantastic slate of films selected meant it was a fun mini nightmare trying to figure out what films I was actually going along to. Thankfully I decided to go to buy a Season Ticket for the first time when they were on special offer just before Christmas. This meant I knew I had a couple of weeks to deal with any glaring omissions that I made on the first round of picks because the festival reserves seats for season ticket holders for a couple of weeks after the programme is released, before allowing them to be sold on.
I decided to stick with my tactic of previous years of trying to see as many of the foreign or obscure films that grabbed my attention in favour of some Irish/UK/US films I knew already had a release date (I will catch up with Traders and Mammal in the IFI/Light House when they come out, I promise you now) and that seemed to pay off again because I didn't have to sit through one clunker. I did gave three films 2 stars out of 5 but they either had some decent moments or were trying something a bit different.
Finally, the festival seemed to be the smoothest run I was ever at. The efficiently handled screen turnovers meant only one of the 17 films I attended was delayed by anything more than a couple of minutes. A big reason for this probably was that all the volunteers and staff I encountered were competent, helpful and friendly particularly while trying to shepherd queues and getting everyone into their seats on time. The pre-scanning of tickets while people were queuing was also greatly helpful.
There was also no projection issues which had happened to me over the years (no subtitles, projectors shutting off during the movie and so on) and the comparably low number of ads and sponsors before each film was a big bonus, particularly when attending multiple screenings in one day.
The only slight bum note were some of the Q&A's and that was the audiences' fault in fairness. It still baffles me when people insist on asking the previous question again or even worse not ask a question, they just launch into some tangential story they have. Still the worst for me is when people air their grievances with the film without framing it in a way that doesn't ruin the film-makers' moment in the sun, you can still enquire about a plot point that doesn't sit well with you or flaw in the script without being rude, just saying.
Anyway, 10 days well spent in the cinema and I'm already looking forward to 2017's fest
I wrote up some mini film reviews for the fine folk over at SPOOOOL.ie if you fancy a perusal:
1. Maggie's Plan // Hail, Caesar! // Nasty Baby
2. Truth // Louder Than Bombs // The Truth Commissioner // The Brand New Testament // High-Rise
3. Anomalisa // Green Room // Mon Roi
4. Departure // 100 Yen Love // Time Out Of Mind // Miles Ahead // Son of Saul // Viva
I've also listed the films in order of enjoyment over on LETTERBOXD