I continue to attend screenings at the ongoing Seattle International Film Festival, and the experience this year has been quite wonderful. There have been a couple of delightful cinematic surprises these past two weeks which I am not allowed to commit to print, a few enjoyable shorts, as well as the occasional unavoidable dud (among them, the overrated The Puffy Chair).
There was one oddly uncomfortable moment during the screening of an independent film where I was seated on the second row. Many of the films' directors, writers, and stars attend the screenings, particularly those films premiering at the festival. Prior to this one screening, the SIFF host introduced the director to the audience, who happened to be seated next to me. As one who appreciates film, particularly independent film, it was difficult for me to fully enjoy the screening knowing the director of the picture was at my elbow. Questions kept circling in my mind: What if I yawn? What if I laugh at the wrong place? What if, heaven forbid, I doze? It is rather late, after all.
In the end, while I appreciated the work of the filmmaker, the movie left me feeling a little underwhelmed. But I managed not to doze while sitting next to the director whose movie was being screened for a large audience for the first time.