ByMark Capehart, writer at
An academic lover of all things horror and folklore posting my thoughts and observations
Mark Capehart

The theater, the theater...what has happened to the theater. Bonus point for whoever can say were I stole that from. The spirit of this little rant is the same though. Used to be fests were either:

We all have this idea of a what a "major film festival" looks like. They basically come in two flavors.

Sorry free pub!
Sorry free pub!

Star galas: Various stars strutting their stuff down a red carpet in very familiar ways. Either they are showing off who they are wearing or flashing their indie creed by showing up in jeans and $90 vintage t-shirt. This is to show how they are still in touch by only spending 10 million on that last film


Hippster heaven: neck-beard sporting hipsters blog about how the love this film because it aint the type that makes money. Note to film makers: unless you are independently wealthy delete any review that says that. If your dream is to watch a film about someones grandmother nursing dying kittens with references to every book you did not read in freshman philosophy class this is the place for you.

Shall i sit here and lament like some curmudgeonly scholar with nothing but time on his hands? Why i should come to a point in here somewhere and this is it.

Now in the new world things have changed. In some ways these changes are very obvious and others sorta snuck up on my generation. Recently I have been to a few fest and things are becoming more and more apparent to a stuck in his ways guy like me. Here are some of those things. Oh! i should mention this. I am not overtly endorsing or condemning any of these fests or events. I am merely commenting on what i have seen...with incredible judgement. Anyway here goes

1. Nerds conquer the world. Used to be that going to see a movie about people in capes or battles on other planets would get you beet up in gym class (as opposed to all the other things that would get you beet up in gym class) . Now the "cool kids" are wishing they had your connections for info and seats. Everything it seems is going the way of geekdom and the festival is no exception. On a side note. When did geek conventions become a prime hangout for stunningly attractive women. Bars and clubs wish they had women even close to as attractive as even an average cosplay event, which are also making their way into film fests.

genre conquers the theater. Try to find a weekend where there is NOT a horror or fantasy film fests. And I'm not just talking about the big budget tent pole movies. You have festivals with fantasy films made in a weekend or with budgets comparable to a church Xmas production rather than a major feature. A whole lot of gems to find and signs of an ever growing community of like minded people to hang with. Also tend to find some real cool vendors at these as well.

nothin more fun than gettin maced and shaken!
nothin more fun than gettin maced and shaken!

2. 4D!! Whatever the hell that means. Okay, who here has been to a "4D" showing of a major film. What exactly does that mean. if you want to piss off the theater manager press with that question. There really is no clear definition. If you want to look into what are specifically designated as the various dimensions unless the theater is manipulating time they are not really doing anything with 4D. Yet this is what we now demand as a viewing audience with more and more of a sensory experience coming out way. One thing that is being done, which i really like is as follows.

Okay, last years poster but I like it!!!
Okay, last years poster but I like it!!!

3. Being a festival hound without havin to put on your shoes. Recently i sorta went to the HP Lovecraft festival. Got to see just about everything but never had to get dressed up or find a parking space. How so yo may ask. Streamed the thing through my computer with a virtual ticket. Heard about this at other fests and there are some which are now entirely on-line. Ugly trend to some but manna from heaven to those of us with health or logistical issues. All is getting right with the world.Down side of course if for any vendors who loose that personal touch but yet their are ways to keep up the interaction with fellow humans (or hybrid beings if you are REALLY into Lovecraft). The wave of the future or just a passive wave on the way to the theater? you decide.

4. Everyplace is a film fest. Been to several special screenings lately, only a couple have been in movie theaters and all have been fun. With modern tech you can have a film fest in your back yard or the parking lot, just check the permits before you get to enthused. Be it the screening of old movies or the opportunity to show a bunch of emerging filmmakers work in a public showing (take that IMDB!!!) everywhere you look there is a mini-fest going on with stuff to by and it is usually genre related. Again, for one I love this and am currently working my way into some of these. More of this to come.

someone said I am in this pic. Can't find myself.
someone said I am in this pic. Can't find myself.

5. Nothing exists without acknowledgement, that sound academically curmudgeonly enough? No.....really...I'm asking. Okay this is just an old dude ranting about the lack of human connection but seriously, how many social media accounts does one actually need. How hypocritical am I by complaining about this on a blog site? Pretty darn hypocritical I say but it does make one wonder how far this will go and ties into my previous point. At what level does the need to show up just disappear? I guess that is up to everyone to make their own choice but i am "just saying".

So what is my point to all this?

Well...haven't quite got there yet and in a way that is my point.

All this evolution is moving fast and we are trying to keep up. While I sit here and rank the past or comment on what is coming out these is always something new around the corner and i am dedicating myself to find it....when I get the energy up. There are cons, fests and events coming up and I am making it a point to attend as many as possible. Whats more..I will post a whiny but begrudgingly gleeful post about each and every one. So where will i start.... Let me get back to you on that but here goes nothing. XOXOXOX to you all.


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