So here's what's what and who's where: I'm in Melbourne, arrived this morning at 6am (it's now 10.15pm here). Tom's in Bateman's Bay, on the East coast, with Meredith and no internet access. We parted after feeding kangaroos and seeing some stunning Australian countryside (although I get told off unless I call it 'bush').
Soon after arriving in Melbourne I adopted 'festival mode': a map of the city in one pocket, a scribbled schedule of films in the other, and, thanks to the cold weather, I'm wearing 4 layers. Yessss. The Melbourne International Film Festival (yes, that would make MIFF) is one of the biggest and longest-running film festivals in the world, and shows a very wide range of films from all over the world. Unfortunately, it's plagued by bureaucracy based on suspicion and elitism, but we won't go into that. Today I saw my first film, Idiots and Angels, a dark animation about a lonely miser who one day sprouts wings, which try to turn him good. It was pretty good, but bleak.
Right now I'm waiting for a midnight screening of George A Romero's Day of the Dead, one of my favourite zombie films. Romero's actually doing a Q&A, but I think I'll miss it as his last film was really, really, really bad. I wouldn't want to start an argument. I plan to book for 17 more screenings, and then stop myself there, for the sake of my wallet. But there are some very interesting-looking things in the program.
As for Melbourne, I've only been here one sleep-deprived day, but I love it. It's exciting to be part of such an old festival in such a culturally wealthy place, not to mention varied. This place has everything that I love about big cities - activity, life, generosity, diversity, trams. It even has neon lights and rain. Brill. No photos from me, I'm afraid, as I don't have a camera. But hopefully I'll develop into such a master storyteller that you'll feel as if you're here anyway.
On the dessert front, something has happened. Something surprising...embarrassing...even upsetting. I threw away some cake. A fair amount of cake. I'm ashamed. But baklava is deadly stuff and should come with a warning. I couldn't even manage half before I had to get rid of it. Tasty, yes. Easy, no. Anyone wanting to lose weight should just have a piece of that on Monday, and you won't feel like eating for a week.
Maybe it's just the baklava talking, but I'm pretty excited about the next ten days.
some may ask, where are tom and joel these days? well here, you can find out.