The Festival, Once Again

The last Göteborg Film Festival I did was in 2016, which is starting to feel like a long time ago. Almost 8, to be precise. It was all good fun, I did it, now I’m over it. Right?


Firstly, I read the news. When it’s happening I follow it. I catch the opening night news, I read about the films being picked, I know about the prize winners. I am aware of it, and I miss it. I also drive past the cinema every now and then and can’t help but look at the big panorama windows hinting at the upper foyer and the view inside, the neon sign, the entrance, all of it. God I miss it. Gets me to think about what the booth looks like today, which I really don’t want to think about.

Secondly, I dream. With the festival getting closer I always have at least one dream about me getting to the cinema booth about to run a show, usually the first one, and things going wrong. A film missing, people bothering me when I’m about to start the show, projectors missing, the booth having been rebuilt with everything in the wrong place.


It’s how I know it’s time. I’ve had these pretty much since I first started working for the festival, which is closer to 40 years now. You can probably guess some of the variations. It’s always something changing and me trying to fix it but other things failing, instantly. It’s a typically reactionary dream, a performance thing, me going in prepared for the festival but something failing.

I had one of these last night. It was an intricate one, with someone having rebuilt the cinema and me trying to cope. Par for the course. I’m not surprised.

I also drove past the theatre recently, noticing that the lamps lighting up the foyer are back. I thought those had been lost; the last year I worked the festival, they had been replaced with embedded lighting in the foyer ceiling, meaning those awful halogen things that may be useful in conference settings but disgrace everything else.

And right now I miss the work and my theatre, and I don’t know what to do about it.

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