dispatches from vary


karlovy vary film festival – the stretch of days that threatens to consume and swallow you whole, deep in the mire of film viewing where you might never crawl back out again! in the best way possible.

in any case, it was our third year at our favorite annual festival and we both had so much fun over the past week. some days were pretty lovely, some days were a little nuts, but all were good. in the past when i visited karlovy vary, i posted a lot about the hilly spa town that is certainly one of the most beautiful places in the country. however this year, i’m not going to do that. instead, i’m bringing you (down) with me to the depths of my “thought journal” over five days of straight film-going. 

spoiler: i go a little crazy, but there’s no better place in the world to do so.



aw, i got some new freckles just from waiting outside for films! i’ll almost be able to convince someone i wasn’t sitting in cinemas eight hours a day.

seventy crowns for a 300ml frappe that isn’t even full – that’s highway robbery!

rough day’s end. sometimes it’s better to cut your losses, go home early, plan, and re-group to be ever better tomorrow. (after standing in the passholder queue for an hour and not being granted access)



arrived an hour and fifteen minutes (ie, 6:45am) to the ticket queue and the long is unexpectedly long. and wait…. oh dang, it looks like people were even camped out here last night. what’s that about?

saw only fantastic films today (out of four!). at a film festival, consider that a great success. am now generally obsessed with the polish film all these sleepless nights, which is a documentary filmed like a feature, set in warsaw. incredible, deeply touching; makes me want to go out and dance… immediately. or go back to poland, either one.

DAY 3: TAKING IT EAS’… sort of

woke up at five o’clock today. unsure how sustainable this is going to be.

at the ticket office: i picked the slowest of the two queues. AGAIN.


how long do i keep subsisting on bagueterie boulevard (official food of the festival) until i turn into a baguette myself?

there is a seriously and unseemly lack of popcorn at this festival.

ohhh, how heavenly the sun is when you’re sitting in cinemas on a july day.

“this is not a place where you will unoriginal, uninteresting films like at other festivals”, a czech moderator before the film. it seemed like a really czech thing to say.


after three years of visiting, i finally got my own porcelain mineral water cup! hallelujah!

fancy festival hack: put the lime slices from your iced tea into your water bottle for instant fanciness.

ahhh, to be a woman and sit unbothered in a park where lots of people are milling about. i could get used to this!

i do not recommend the jim jarmusch film paterson, starring adam driver. the most interesting thing that happens is the dog chewing up the notebook. not even a spoiler alert, because who cares.



finally we are in the right queue for movie tickets on the last possible day and get everything we want! yaaaas.

at the nespresso cafe (what else?): “i’m going for the ‘clooney, relaxing on the terrace of his como villa’ look.”
“okay, but the pink hair kind of throws off the whole clooney thing.”


in other news, the nespresso cafe has the best croissants i’ve tasted in my life. how.

after five minutes of the first film that begins to play, i start to realize, I HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE. it was a german film from 2010 that wasn’t even great when i saw it six years ago at siff, and it’s certainly not so great now. at least this is a good opportunity for language practice?

when you realize that you have horribly mis-timed the end of one of film and the start of the next one and have to get up (making other people get up) and walk in front of everyone while they try to watch the end of the movie, drawing the ire of all involved. so cringe inducing.

laugh and cry my way through captain fantastic, new american film starring viggo mortensen that is absolutely one of my favorites of this year’s festival. recommended for anyone who has ever crusaded against “the man”.


arrive to the next screening and basically had to fight a chick who would not get out of my (assigned) seat. i may have raised my voice, there may have been a small scene, but you just don’t do that to people.

fortunately, the daniels (directors daniel scheinert and daniel kwan) had us in stitches telling hundreds of people to stand up and “shake it out” at the beginning of their screening of swiss army man.

seriously, swiss army man. the daniel radcliffe farting corpse movie. it had so much heart and was such a journey into the absurd like you have never seen before.

we’re sitting in the park after the film and i decide to use tide pen on my knee to remove a stain. it didn’t work. i now have a minor chemical burn. seemed like a good idea at the time.


STILL sitting in the park, it’s 5:40pm: “we should probably double-check the schedule to make sure we get to the next film [that i’ve been wanting to see for weeks] on time.” “yeah, good idea! our minds are not to be trusted right now”.

….the film started at 5:00pm.


oh my goodness, it is so good to sleep in after several days of wake-ups pre-6:00am. (by sleeping in, i mean like 7:30am)

killed it at our first screening of the day, hunt for the wilderpeople, taika waititi’s latest. just like any waititi film, it was an unforgettable cinematic experience.

killed it again with chan-wook park’s latest the handmaiden right afterwards. you’d think that a two and a half hour long korean film would have you looking at your watch a couple of times, but on the contrary; it was riveting.


drinking out of a coconuuut! sitting back in a lawn chair at the “beach”… maybe this is a vacation after all!

finish out the day with a czech film, lost in munich, making me wonder if i still don’t really understand czech humor or is this legitimately a not so great movie?


parting thought of the festival: can’t tell if i’m annoyed with all the other film goers, they’re annoyed with me, or probably both.

this post is a part of wanderful wednesday. #willwanderforfilms