Posted by: Scotty | November 22, 2009

Why Cinema Now?

Quiet on the set and…. ACTION!!! Why Cinema Now? This is the motto for the 50th annual Thessaloniki International Film Festival which took place Nov. 13-22. It was the first film festival I ever experienced and was pretty cool! There were hundreds of films played each day.

This years motto refers to a quote from film director Jean Renoir who said, “Why Cinema Now? In order to keep cinema alive, we would have to reinvent everything from the beginning.” My roommate interned at the festival and saw about three films a day. I was very conservative and only saw one film. Yeah I know… lame right? Well, on top of classes, turns out some friends and I tried to get into a few films earlier on in the week and they were all sold out!

The one film I saw was a special screening of (500) Days of Summer in the historic Olympion Theater. The Olympion is located in the heart of Aristotle square. Outside of the theatre they were projecting a short film or “street cinema” on the building. The special effects were awesome. Being the Communication major that I am, I thought the promotional team did a great job getting the word out about the festival. All around town they projected the, “Why Cinema now?” logo on buildings and even the cultural symbol of Thessaloniki, The White Tower.

I didn’t know what to expect since this was the first film at a festival I’ve ever been. The house was sold out and people were going up and down the isles filming things. Some guy walked in and everyone started clapping (I had no idea what was going on). Turns out it was the president of 20th Century Fox. He spoke in Greek a few words to the audience before the show, (no idea what he said) but it was really cool to see.

The acting and cinematography in (500) Days of Summer were great, a very entertaining film. My favorite part of the movie was when Tom wakes up as a “new man,” marches along the streets and breaks out in a dance routine to the song, “You make my dreams,” sooo hilarious! I would see it again for sure. Afterwords everyone stayed for the credits, which is something new I appreciated. Check out the blog of 13 ACT students who wrote about their experiences with the film festival.

Until next time…

-Scotty out!

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