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Leave Town During The Film Festival? Are You Mad?

July 16th, 2010 by the_lifer

Winona is vexed. Her partner Will says that  his work friend Ulrika, a Swiss expatriate inspired by the crisp, cold weather, wants them to join her and a few other people on a ski weekend.  Winona can’t ski, but that doesn’t bother her. The real problem is that she doesn’t want to leave Wellington during the International Film Festival.

She’s not even a serious film buff, but the film festival heralds the end of winter doldrums. Is the weather still terrible? It doesn’t matter, as long as you can make it to the theater. Friends and acquaintances reconnect, using films as an excuse. Parties at peoples’ homes fall off, replaced by pre-film meet-ups in restaurants and bars. And even if you go crazy and buy tickets to ten films, this seems sane compared to the truly obsessed, those who take time off of work to gorge on three or four movies a day.  Frankie, one of Winona’s workmates, is doing just that. “It’s the best staycation ever. You go away in your mind. One of my contractor friends is taking me along. She did a job for Weta Digital once, so she’s deducting all her film festival costs from her taxes as research!”

It’s the principle of the thing, Winona thinks. If Ulrika was a real Wellingtonian, she’d at least be apologetic about the timing. As it is, she can tell that Will wants to go, and she’s not about to send him off by himself with the minxy Ulrika. Resigned, she takes out her phone to text message a friend and ask about borrowing some snow clothes.

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