This evening, I attended the Backcountry Film Festival presentation at the Northern Hotel/Mountain Shop in Old Town Fort Collins. Well, at least for half of the presentation. I actually skipped out after the fourth film (out of seven). Despite leaving early, I came home with a few things:
- A new appreciation for Hollywood. In a year where foreigners swept virtually all the major acting awards at the Academy Awards, after seeing the Backcountry Film Festival, I realized that films from Hollywood actually are not that bad—at least compared to the work of the amateurs!
- A realization that movies about sports you enjoy do not necessarily make for interesting flicks. Especially when 95% of the film contains no dialog and merely shows someone doing S-turns down a mountain with folk songs playing in the background ad nauseum for 10-20 minutes. Some people think watching the Tour de France is boring; let me assure you that watching that race with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin commentating is 10 times more interesting than any of the movies I saw at the Backcountry Film Festival!
- A (minor) sense of disappointment in the Mountain Shop—which was closed last year at its old location, but is due to reopen in Old Town on April 5th. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am happy the store is reopening, and also appreciated their efforts to bring together a community of backcountry enthusiasts. The staff was very friendly, just disorganized. The worst part was they had advertised the film festival starting at 6:00 p.m., but did so “before we realized daylight savings time was going to happen.” Hence, on the rationale that the movie room wouldn’t be entirely dark until the sun went down, they began the festival at 7:30 p.m.—1.5 hours after I had arrived. In hindsight, I should have called them beforehand to ask what time exactly would the movies start showing instead of wasting an hour-and-a-half of my time. At least there was beer from New Belgium, including Fat Tire and Sunshine, covered by the $6 entrance fee.
In light of the above, I don’t think I’d recommend this Film Festival to those who are on the fence about going to it. Instead, I think one would be better off just staying home and, say, watching the following episode of “The Office.” The segment with Michael in the woods is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Now THAT’S a great video about the backcountry.