Friday, November 9, 2012

Napa Valley Can't-Get-To-See-A-Film Festival.

Today, I decided to do something a little bit out of my normal routine:  I tried to attend a showing of a film at the Napa Valley Film Festival.  A new documentary, SOMM - the story of four men trying to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam - was having it's premier at the festival and I thought I might eventually like to see it given my interest in wine etc.  And could there be a better venue for the premier of a wine industry related film than the Napa Valley?  I arranged to go with a friend who'd purchased a pass to the entire 5 day long festival.  He was going to do some research for me;  find out the film's schedule, the price of a one-off ticket, meet me at the cinema - The Cameo, in St. Helena - save me a seat etc. That was the plan. Today was the day. The best made plans of...
The Cameo Cinema is a very small cinema, just some 140 seats, and I assumed this would be a popular film.  Pass holders queued to one side, the folks for rush tickets, Vinogirl included, to the other.  I was about 6 people back, so it was looking promising. My friend came from the pass holder queue to say a quick hello before being admitted into the cinema.  Not even 5 minutes later, he reappeared and informed me and my queue-mates that today was not going to be our lucky day.  Apparently, three rows of the tiny cinema had been reserved for some big wig and there simply weren't enough seats for everybody else. Day Pass holders with their $50, red laminated passes - now a badge of shame, like some modern day Scarlet Letter - who initially had been admitted were now being unceremoniously ushered back out on to Main Street, persona non grata-like.  These types of goings-on are a perfect example of why I don't normally attempt to do stuff like this. The Festival organisers can have all the private showings they desire, but I personally don't think they should treat pass holders this way. These type of events are definitely not intended for the average person, like me, who is only interested in seeing one film. I won't bother again.
Like the Master Sommelier exam, an exam with one of the lowest pass rates in the world, SOMM is turning out to be one of the most difficult films for wine industry folks to get to see.

8 comments:

NHwineman said...

V-girl, never impressed with the unchivalrousness nature of VIPs! Here, in you, is obviously a "greater" than those interlopers;-)
Just my humble opinion.

Thud said...

Are there any zombies in it?

Vinogirl said...

NHW: All in all, I had a nice afternoon, St. Helena is a pretty town. It was probably better to be out in the fresh air anyway :)

Thud: You are confused, dear brother. They haven't made the film ZOMM yet: the exam to become a master zombie is way too hard to document on celluloid.

Thud said...

Braaaaiiinnnnssss!...what is a discerning zombie to drink?

Thomas said...

Thud,

The zombies were in the two rows of VIP seats.

Vinogril,

You must be a Pollyanna. I would be excoriating the elitist bullshit for what it is. But then, my whole life could be defined as one big rail against those who would be VIP!

Vinogirl said...

Thud: A hearty glass of Hungarian 'Bull's Blood' perhaps?

Tomasso: It would be a waste of energy to complain further about a situation I couldn't control. There was always the possibility that I wouldn't get in - and I didn't. So I'm never going to bother with the Napa Valley Film Festival ever again - I can control that!

Thomas said...

VG,

You sound so grown up...can I have some of that?

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Sure, I'll pop some in the mail tomorrow :)