Monday, October 06, 2003

The screening on the 24th went very well. The picture quality was better than the last screening, I met a lot of cool people afterwards, I was more coherent during the Q&A... Most of all, it was nice to just relax and go to a screening of my film.

The interesting part was: it's a restaurant. A nightclub, really, and a pretty swanky one, but a place with a bunch of tables where people are eating food. Every attempt is made to accommodate viewing of the film: the tables are all positioned so that you can face the screen, etc. But it's still a test of a film's ability to keep your attention; I mean, the atmosphere just invites conversation.

I think "Buttleman" did pretty well, fortunately. I winced every time a waiter or waitress took someone's order in a quiet moment, but eventually I tried to just observe the whole experience and see how it plays out.

My food was "pizza". Everything had the stamp of Cali cuisine, and my pizza was a small, lopsided pyramid of bread wedges, tomato slices and chunks of buffalo mozzarella.

I read about a Roman emperor named Heliogabalus in a Kurt Vonnegut book who had a life-size iron bull constructed with a door in its belly that locked from the outside and a hole in the mouth. For dinner parties, a human being would be locked inside and then a fire lit underneath the bull, so that their screams would emit from the bull's mouth to amuse the guests.

It's practically impossible to imagine being a guest at such a dinner, and nibbling on cheese cubes while enjoying this droll display. What did they say? Did they smirk in embarrassment for the wretched soul experiencing a pain greater than anything anyone could possibly imagine? Did women blush, or scowl at their husbands for laughing too hard? Did anybody find this the slightest bit unfunny?

Conclusion: no matter what you think of "Buttleman", you have to admit it's a vast improvement in the arena of dining entertainment.

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