Yesterday, when I got home from work meetings (in the summer! it's barbaric!), my son and his friends were having a superhero film festival. It started with X Men, continued to X Men 2, then I think pretty much stopped there, as they ran out of steam. (We went, my son, his friend, my daughter and me, last night to see Sky High, which was fun--my son's friend noted, however, that it couldn't be a truly great superhero movie, as no one was likely to die in it.)
I've always been taken by the idea of hosting a film festival, if only for an audience of myself. Once I hosted a birthday party for myself in which I made dinner for my friends, then had a short program of Diner and My Dinner With Andre. It's a marker of the dissatisfactions of my life at that point that hardly anyone could appreciate the wit of this conceit. I also thought, back in the day of Gallipoli and Mad Max and an underappreciated gem Mrs. Soffel, that I'd like to have a Mel Gibson film festival, an idea that seems quite a bit less appealing these days. Quentin Tarantino puts together a film festival in Austin, I think it is, every summer--usually the B-movies he treasures so much.
If I were putting on a film festival today, what would it be? I think it would be the Festival of the Melancholy Comedy, perhaps my favorite film genre (if it's not a genre, it should be). Or a Festival of Romantic Comedies (instances of really good ones are rare). Here are some films that should belong on some film festival program of my own devising: Songwriter (written by Alan Rudolph), Choose Me (an Alan Rudolph gem), Something Wild (Jonathan Demme), Lost in Translation, The Secret Lives of Dentists (hmm, an Alan Rudolph theme emerging--perhaps its own film festival?), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I [heart] Huckabees, Being Julia, Mr. 3000. Also, how about a great Sports Movies festival?