Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jason goes to Cinequest--Opening Night

The biggest, bestest party in San Jose started last night, and of course I was there. In fact, I was there a few hours early to check into the lounge, get my VIP pass, have a free drink or two six, taste some delicious chocolate from Marich, and hug all my Cinequest friends.

Then over to the fabulous California Theatre to meet and hug more friends, hobnob a bit on the red carpet, and settle in to my front row seat. Before the films, there were the obligatory thank-yous and announcements, including a couple of shout-outs to yours truly (at least, I assume the reference to a "guy with a top hat and a ZZ Top beard" was me, although for the record my beard is neatly trimmed, it's my hair that's wild.)

But enough about me, the night was about BATKID BEGINS, a perfect way to start what's looking to be a perfect festival. You may remember the phenomenon of Batkid, 5 year old leukemia survivor (spoiler alert, he's in remission!) whose Make-A-Wish was to be batkid for a day, and how San Francisco transformed into Gotham for a day and blew the world away. Well, this is a thorough behind-the-scenes documentary about it. From the dedicated Make-A-Wish workers who only hope to get a few hundred people to show up. To the amazing creative people who just kept building on the idea. To how social media took over and blew it up. To how San Francisco stepped up and brought the full force of awesome to it. How people traveled from all over the world to be in San Francisco for it. And that's not even getting to Miles himself. In fact, I caught myself about halfway in wondering if this movie would even be about him. But when he put on that costume, and he puffed out his shoulders, put on his best crime-fighting face, and did a perfect John Wayne walk, he freakin' OWNED it! That was a transcendent moment of cinema...no, check that, it was a transcendent moment of real life. It was amazing how the city, the Internet, and the world came together to play with a sick kid. But Miles made it worth it, and as one person points out in the movie, the signs of "Save Us, Batkid!" take on a different meaning when you realize he really is saving us, from the dull, serious drudgery of adulthood.

Speaking of playing, Cinequest goes on for another week and a half. Hope to see you all there.

Running Time: 87 minutes
My Total Minutes: 384,778
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