Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Telluride Film Festival 2007: Prologue

The Road to the Rockies

So Jana (a net friend met through the EZ1 Movie Games) had sent me some fest materials a few years ago in hopes of enticing me to come out to this, being the avid festivalgoer I am. Low and behold a few years later the opportunity to head up to the mountains and ignore this very scenic experience to watch movies for 4 days presents itself and not only would Jana be there with Ian (her son) in tow but Ralph (another netizen of the EZ boards) and his wife were going as well! (David - a third - was thinking of coming but circumstances didn’t permit, I feel for you as this was a great time.)

So of course there was some fun in getting there. This remote mountain village has seasonal service to its airport which is sketchy at the best of times and this isn’t even the right season. In addition I was limited to 3 airports in a 3 hr radius as I was using frequent flier miles and USAir only flies to these destinations. I settled on Grand Junction, CO which googles out to just under a 3 hrs drive. Flight 1 to Phoenix was fine but things got interesting on flight 2.

The gate person comes on and says that we will be delayed because there is a mechanical problem…never a good sign. So we start to board and I am last in line so I can snag an open row if there happens to be any. But when I get down the gangway and onto the tarmac to put my bag in the planeside check (it was a small turboprop) I was told that there was no room and that I’d have to take it aboard with me – even though there is no way for it to fit in the overhead bins. Luckily there are several open seats so stuff it in an open row and walk back to my seat. I sit down and low and behold a few stragglers arrive so the stow is no go. I carried it back to the front where a nice couple who were separated agreed to sit together so I would have an open seat next to me for my luggage. After a few minutes it turned out I wasn’t the only one this would happen to. The thrower gets on and talks to the attendant and the pilot informing them that a) there is no more room in the cargo hold and b) that the plane is too heavy. The FA tries to make an announcement when we find out what the mechanical difficulty was – the PA system doesn’t work!! So this nice British lady screams the announcement as several people’s uncarry-on-able carry-ons are carried on. All the while we are sitting in a metal tube in Phoenix, in August, at midday. So that situation gets resolved and the FA starts franticly handing out water to assuage the encroaching heat. One man head up to the rest room and surprise the flush doesn’t work!! So he go (quickly than god) and the FA takes some of the bottled water and spins it round the basin. Finally we are set to depart so the FA packs up the items and locks the door latches but one bugger slips back open dispensing plastic cups rapid fire into the isle. Finally we take off, a good thing as the AC comes on!

So after shouting the safety announcements over the propeller noise and a few more incidents of flush support we arrive in Grand Junction. I get the car and get lost. Quirky streets those small mountain towns have. I get back on track and find an Office Depot to finalize the gifts for my co-festival goers (M. Night’s first draft of the script for his new film The Happening w/ a few shooting notes) and get lost again – luckily I have a keen sense of direction as street signs were less than helpful (“B ½ Road” really?). Finally I set off for Telluride just in time to miss the open air showing of the Thursday night film – the 1967 version of The Thomas Crown Affair. And I wandered around several streets in this town as well and walked into (what I later found out to be) the wrong house looking for the right one! Fortunately Jana had returned from said film and called me to see where the hell I was. We were also both wondering where Ralph & Vanessa were as his phone was off and no one had heard a word. We talked, they arrived, and Jana gave us a quick lesson on the festival and I was off to sleep to get ready for day 1.

In the next chapter, we plan and enjoy.

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