BIFF 2011

This past weekend I had the chance to attend the Busan International Film Festival. I had a great time, so much so that I made a return trip on Wednesday! Not only was the film festival an enjoyable outing amongst friends, I also got a chance to see how I’ve evolved as a traveler.

In total I was able to see 8 films at the festival. My selection was erratic, and intuitive, but overall I was very impressed with what I saw. My selections ranged from a weird pshyco twist featuring Brad Pitt, to a Russian version of a German legend [in German?]. The most impressive film that I saw, though, was Rebellion. It deals with a political uprising on the French colony of New Caledonia circa 1988. This film left me infuriated and on the verge of tears by the ending credits. Based on the reaction in the theater, it seemed to have a similar impact on others as well. Another winner on my list was, The Battle of Warsaw 1920. The title is self explanatory, but as a war film, this movie had a comedic air to it, along with it’s necessary share of spilled intestines. To add to the effect, it was in 3D. One of the best 3D films I’ve seen, and also the first 3D film to come out of Europe (at least that’s what the producer said).

Now, as a traveller, I learned a few things about myself and my evolution as a drifter. One, planning has it place. On Saturday, myself, and my two fellow cinephiles resorted to Black Friday style camp outs in order to reserve tickets. We underestimated demand when the tickets first went on sale, so had to resort to the uncertain possibility of scoring from a small pool of reserved tickets set aside for the screening day. Fortunately, we arrived early enough and were adequately coordinated, despite 2 hours of sleep, to purchase tickets for 4 films that day. Also, I learned that sometimes it’s ideal to travel in small groups, or solo. Had we arrived with one more person— or one more ‘personality’— things could have gone from jovial and easy going to tense and dramatic. On my second trip to the festival, later in the week, I traveled solo. This worked well for me. There were no compromises to make; I could follow my own whims, which led to a few unique encounters with other festival attendees.

Finally, I realized how I’ve evolved when it comes to packing. My two friends had a travel time 2x longer than mine. For some reason this seems to equate with the amount of luggage they packed retaliative to yours truly. I bought no chargers (I felt they would weigh me down— besides, before I left my iPad had a full charge, as did both of my cell phone batteries). Only the most essential items made the cut. On Sunday, I was able to go out on a site seeing excursion with relative ease. One of my friends, on the other hand, was rockin’ one of those triple phat hiking bags. Yeah— that kind! According to him it was the equivalent of carrying around a 10-year-old child on his back. Fortunately, I’d done enough weekend trips to learn the benefit and practicality of packing light.

So, a mixture of friends, planning & joie de vivre made for a good experience. And it was an added bonus to realize my effectiveness and savvy as a traveler has developed. Keep Driftin’…