I know this post is much later than usual (especially since I promised that it would be posted sooner), but as soon as you read ahead you will see that it was hopefully worth the wait.
So what happened over last weekend. Not much apparently - since I can't seem to remember anything exciting about it. Classes are as classes are, and other than classwork and hanging out with friends, the week was pretty standard (I also got a haircut ((finally))). Then Thursday, the exciting stuff began to happen.
All of us USC animation kids had been contacted by our advisor to attend the ROME INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, because they were screening the graduate USC films there, but ironically the Art History class trip to Rome was scheduled for the same weekend. Since I am not in the Art History class, this meant that I would be the only one that would be able to attend. So of course, I did.
The festival put me in a 4 star hotel (which was very nice) right near the theaters and event itself, and gave me a Professional Badge, which allowed me to go see any film I wanted (given that it was playing at the festival of course). All I had to do was go to the USC screening and participate in a Q & A with the audience afterwards about the program.
I arrived on Thursday and after taking the hour walk through the Bourgese Gardens to the Hotel I took a nap and went over to the festival. There, I got a fantastic chicken sandwich, and quickly followed it up with another fantastic chicken sandwich and went to meet the people who ran the event. After meeting them, and deciding when to meet up of Friday for the screening, I walked around a bit more, took a few pictures and went back to the hotel where I proceeded to put on around 6 shirts (it was cold out) and thus headed out to the opening night party for professionals like me at the Villa Medici. That means "The Medici House (Mansion/Manor). It was incredible and if you don't know who they were, click on this and find out.
Inside, there were piles of pastas and breads and cheeses and meats and cakes and champagne and pretty much anything that was tasty. After helping myself to two very large plates of food I went out side where they were having a show. The show consisted of large-Macys-Day-Parade-like balloons of an owl and a dragon flying around with lots of people holding smaller balloon birds running about below. It was too cold way up on the hill, but the show was awesome.
The following morning I woke up (as one should) and in search of food, headed off to the film fest yet again. Ikea had built a temporary cinema there, and since you all must know by now how big a fan I am of Ikea food (the pamphlet also said Ikea would have some there), I ventured inside and was slightly disappointed. There was no food. Only a cinema - and since I had 2 hours to kill before my Q & A anyway, I decided to take a seat and watch whatever came on the screen next. The film that was shown was a film from the UK known as "The Be All End All" which was a story about 2 kids, one of whom is dying from heart disease and wants to have sex with someone before he dies, and the other boy who is out looking for his estranged father while trying to help kid number one achieve his goal. It sounds kind of stupid when you put it like I just did, but it wasn't. It was a very well made, heartfelt film that I would gladly recommend to anyone who likes a good drama with some very well placed humor throughout it.
Then I went by the chicken sandwich shop, ate 3 fantastic chicken sandwiches and a drank a bottle of water, and promptly ran off to meet up for my Q&A and such. Once we met, I met the guy who was speaking for the screening, and was provided with a translator (who translated everything for me), and we set off down the red carpet and into the cinema. The screening went well (there was one film I had never seen, but still enjoyed), and afterwards I took the stage with my translator and was asked a few questions by the host and then a couple from the audience. It went quickly, but I think it went well. Following that, I left the fest, went back to the hotel, and then off to that nights party (once again at the Medici's).
Expecting a hearty free dinner, I was a little disappointed, because they only provided bread meat and cheese that night, but even so, it was really tasty and I ate enough of it that I was well full by the time it was cleared up. I then proceeded to walk around the party and meet people who could also speak English. I met one guy from the Pacific Palisades, and two from London. Then I turned at one point and who did I run into, but both the leads from "The Be All End All". They were both very friendly, and they had a camera and took some pictures, which was good because I had forgotten mine. Then I took the 20 minute walk down the hill and back to the hotel, where I proceeded to go to sleep.
Saturday was nowhere near as exciting. I went to the festival at around 3:30 pm, and ate a piece of terrible lasagna. Then I drank two Fanta's ( natural orange soda) and went back to the hotel. Then I took a 45-55 min walk down to a restaurant where I met up with one of my friends from SACI and a bunch of us had dinner. Then I went back to the Medici Party, stayed for about an hour and a half, talked to some cool people and went back to the hotel.
Today is Sunday, and I am literally sitting on the train right now on my way home from Rome. I woke up today, packed up quickly and made it out at check out time. It was it was kind of cold and the movies I wanted to see today don't screen till night. I figured I could just see them in the theater when I get home, so bags in tow, I took a long but scenic route (first time I've probably ever done that as opposed to the short route) back to the train station, and now I'm on a 3 1/2 hour train ride back to Florence (I could have got the faster train, but It was much cheaper for this one and it gives me some time to catch up on writing). So everyone, please write the train company and say "thank you for making a long train ride so Ezra could use it to write a really long update for his blog."
Jesse is coming on Wednesday and Jose is on Thursday, so I am very excited for the coming week. Then it's off to Barcelona! There is still plenty of work I have to do before they get here though, so I'd better get to it.
Talk to you all soon!