With each passing year, the number of people I know in this city is increasing. So, the festival each year is getting a better place to hang out with them. There are some whom you meet only annually, during this week, and that familiarity makes things more eventful for you.
The best thing about any film festival is obviously the movies. I’m satisfied this time, having watched 31 movies from more than fourteen countries in seven days. It included the latest works of legends like Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Bernardo Bertolucci, Michael Haneke, and Takashi Kitano, the top award winners at Sundance and Cannes this year, and also the official Oscar entries of Spain, Austria, Uruguay, Netherlands, and Romania.
Classics like ‘Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans’, ‘The Leopard’, ‘Umberto D’, ‘Accattone’, ‘Two for the Road’, and ‘Laura’ completed the experience, and the icing on the cake was the Live Orchestra that performed with the silent Indo-German classic – ‘A Throw of Dice’.
All this year, I have not been able to watch as many movies as I normally do. Thanks to this fest, my annual score is now decent. The greed, however, is never satisfied, the thirst remains unquenchable. I hope it remains the same even after fifty such festivals – annual rituals when the celebration of cinema adopts a maddening, intoxicating fervor, and you feel like a kid in the best amusement park man has ever created.