lost in vary

we interrupt this slovenia post barrage to bring you dispatches from the 49th annual karlovy vary international film festival in beautiful karlovy vary, czech republic. today is the final day of this year’s fabulous festival, and i felt like talking about it. so here we go.

after figuring out how things are done last year, alex and i came in ready to conquer the festival. we got in the secret “good line” at the box office an hour early and were first to get our tickets! we definitely learned that the key to film festival success is GET THERE EARLY, and we aced it so hard.
this year, we spent a full day watching films in the gorgeous karlovy vary city theater, or karlovarské městské divadlo, located near hotel pupp and across from the canal. pro tip: the cafe across the street offers iced espresso to go for less than 40czk each! i have no idea why the organizers of the festival are not handing out iced espressos to film goers, like giving water or gatorade to marathon runners. it’s kind of the same thing… just a different kind of marathon that requires your full attention, sitting in a seat for +2 hours up to four or five times a day. film festival going can be serious biz! but i love it.

karlovy vary itself seemed to warmly greet me with its mediterranean weather. it’s such a great (albeit, small) city and i love to daydream about moving there, but i know it would be so different in the winter and without the thousands of festival goers. it’s a place of near fantasy that exists for me each year in early july.  (below, my festival conqueror face)


the interior of the gorgeous karlovy vary theater…

mel gibson was in town to receive a crystal globe award, and i saw him on the red carpet from farrrr away on my way back to the apartment to go watch the world cup. because world cup vs. seeing live mel gibson….. ehhhhhh.

what a passholders’ standby queue looks like at 7:50am (because we’re badasses)

what the same queue looks like at 8:30am

the public spaces around the center of karlovy vary were absolutely overun with hare krishnas. here, in a bout of KVIFF silliness, they are seen dancing with bears.

and what would a film fest be without the obligatory red carpet photo?

we managed eight films in forty-eight hours. one or two were great, a couple were duds, and most of them were just alright. but my favorite film i saw?

‘71 (2014, united kingdom)

this film was high on my list to see at berlinale but it didn’t work out. however, i couldn’t be more glad i chose to see it this time around. set in belfast in 1971 at the height of the violent ethno-nationalist conflict, the film focuses on the protagonist who, fresh out of boot camp, is called to northern island as part of the peace-keeping mission. an incredible portrayal of a conflict that i admittedly knew not enough about, and through this survival thriller i felt really close to belfast and its people enough to put it high on my travel list.

so, happy weekend and am hoping for all the best in the outcome of the final match of the world cup tomorrow. (los gehts, deutschland!)