B-FEst 2018 just concluded about 24 hours ago, and ths line-up for this year is actually pretty amazing. A nice sprinkling of terrible, old and new, and even a "secret screening" that seemed worth catching (the rare 1975 film The Astrologer that's been making the rounds of festivals recently).
In fact, the line-up is so solid that I'm almost sad that I didn't go! But I'm still feeling that I need to stay away from the festival for several good reasons.
- I'm getting old. I really can't do the 24-hour movie festival anymore, thanks to some issues with sleep that I've developed in recent years. And even before that I tend to get in a bad mood when I'm sleep-deprived, so it's best that I don't tempt fate.
- There's almost no stuff shown on film. Besides Wizard of Speed and Time, which you really have to show on film to get the full effect, everything is screening via video projection (which bit the organizers in the butt in 2013, when there was a loose cable in the projector that caused about 1/3 of the movies to be shown in a green-blue tint). This is of course being done as a cost-effective move, but it's a real shame that stuff cannot be shown on film anymore.
- The crowds have changed. I just can't handle any more undergrads who think it's okay to shout crude rape jokes whenever a female character shows up on screen. I also can't handle that one woman who was just screaming "What the fuck is this?" over and over during one of the films during my last B-Fest.
- Everything's available on video. Thanks to YouTube and the BitTorrent revolution, just about anything you want to watch from B-Fest is available online. The days are over where you would go to one of these festivals to see a rare thing you wouldn't be able to see anywhere else (like the immortal platonic ideal B-Fest title Heironymous Merkin). Now you can just pick your favorite titles and screen them on your big screen TV.
So that's why I'm not going to B-Fest anymore. That said, it's still an awful lot of fun for those who go into the weekend with the right mindset. It's just that my mind can no longer be set!