It’s Saturday. The start of the long weekend. In years gone by, this was the starting weekend of the Sydney Film Festival. True, it used to start a night or three earlier but it didn’t really feel like filmfest until you hit the weekend. Previously a film, maybe two a night…after work; films but one of several events in the day. Come the weekend, and filmfest is the thing around which everything else revolves; it is the focus, the destination, the journey, seemingly everything that matters. Films in the morning, films in the afternoon, films in the evening.
Actually that’s not quite true. I don’t do films in the morning anymore; I value the importance of sleep. I like to think this means I am approaching filmfest in a healthier space. Mostly, it’s the weekend and sleeping in trumps all.
This year it’s a bit different. Filmfest is on but reduced. It starts after the weekend not before. Filmfest is online and at home. Like olden days I get to sit in the same seat for every screening, though it will be my comfy armchair. Not this year will I need to worry about the dash from Opera Quays, through the Vivid crowd, to wherever the next film is on, in the fastest possible time. We can watch the films at home, at the times we want to watch them while sitting in our comfy chairs. We don’t need to smuggle bottles of wine into the cinema, just grab one from the wine rack nearby. Luxury.
I will miss the people. Running into friends, old and new. The people I used to sit with. Folk from long ago. Casual chats. Queues. I will actually miss the queues whether it be for film or food. Queues are a sort of pause, a time out, where you can be stuck with your thoughts.
This I think, will be my 28th filmfest. How time flies.