Off the Grid Once Again
Porcupine is off the the movies - actually, around 30 of them. Since 2001, Porcupine has arranged his schedule so as to be able to attend the Maine International Film Festival - every bit as good as Nantucket, but a steak in Waterville costs $9.99!
Some MIFF films have gone on to fame and fortune - American Splendor, Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, Pollock. Others have enjoyed a robust art house audience - Postmen in the Mountains, The Secret Life of Dentists, Factotum, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. But Porcupine's favorites are the ones which were never hits at all - 13 Tzamati, The Mission, Raise the Red Lantern, the Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, Sardar, Islander, Broadcast News (no, not that one, a Chinese movie with the same name).
There have been big guns there - Walter Hill talking about making The Warriors, Peter Fonda about his early career and Dennis Hopper. Perhaps the best was when Jonathan Demme told an audience of about 50 that we were the first people to see his new documentary, The Agronomist, and he asked us to critique it for him! Still, Porcupine enjoys others even more - Jay Cocks talking about how he turned a sociological treatise into a script for Gangs of New York, and how he turned Edith Wharton's complex novel into the script for The Age of Innocence. A director from Kahzakstan - the REAL one - explaining that the Soviet moved all its film making facilities there during WWII to protect it from invading armies, and now it is the Hollywood of the Balkans.
So - Taiwanese director Johnny To has a new film, and Steve Buscemi has directed and starred in another. Porcupine will be away, with no electricity and no real newscasts (it was when he spent 4 days there before learning that JFK, Jr. had crashed his plane and turned Cape Cod into a media circus that he first determined to purchase acreage there). Oh, a hot spot may be hit now and again, and the Sunday songs for McCain and Obama will go up - but it won't be the avid interest of day to day. Politics will just have to carry on.