I've been meaning to 'do' the International Film Festival for years. A decade in fact.
Not just look at the brochure, circle everything I'd like to watch and then see... well, none of them... but actually go to some films. Get some culture into me. Not just one film, but a whole heap of them - as many as my budget will allow.
Up until now I've looked at the brochure and circled. I've had good intentions, but I've never actually gone. It's the story of my life actually. Wanting to see shows, concerts, plays, movies, comedians... and then never actually going.
There's a theory about this. It states that there are four different types of people when it comes to arts attendance - Attenders, Intenders, Indifferent and the Hostile. Attenders like the arts and make the effort to go - pretty simple. Intenders like the idea of the arts and plan to go - but never quite get around to it. Indifferent don't really care about the arts and have no desire to attend them, while the Hostile have strong negative opinions about the arts and no intention to go.
Up until the beginning of this year I could safely be called an Intender. My entertainment was solely movies with the occasional concert thrown in. I was the person who saw a poster and thought something looked interesting, but never got off my bum and went. I was the person who picked up programs for the Film Festival or the Comedy Fest and frantically circled... but never quite got around to buying the tickets.
I can even tell you why this was. It wasn't a money thing - I could have easily afforded the occasional ticket. It wasn't a company thing - I'm completely happy attending events by myself. It wasn't a transport or a time thing either. It was simply because things like festivals and plays were outside my comfort zone. I hadn't been exposed to these things before, so I didn't know what to expect.
But in the last six months there has been a change. I've been introduced into the world through a whole heap of different events and I've begun to be involved in something I've only ever stood on the periphery of. Now I can most definitely be classed as an Attender.
Partially because I have friends to do these things with and partially because I now have the money to do them, I'll see any concert, movie, play or any other entertainment that comes my way. I'll pay for what I want to see, and I'll enter every and any competition around to get access to the rest.
In the last six months alone I've been to Avenue Q, a whole heap of comedy shows, Heroic Faun No One, Short and Sweet, That Face, Le Sud, Big Day Out, Laneway, Camera Obscura, Lady Gaga, The Pixies and as a small collection of films that I have really wanted to see... and that's not an exhaustive list, it's just what I can remember off the top of my head.
It's not as impressive as some people, but a year ago I wouldn't have dared see any of the plays, the comedy shows or even half the concerts.
Sitting in my room is quite a stack of tickets for upcoming concerts and movies and just this morning Anna and I were talking about more shows we wanted to see.
The fact that I've been able to transform myself into an attender meant that when this year's New Zealand International Film Festival brochure came out, I decided I was going to go and I booked 5 films the day booking opened.
The festival opened last night and tonight I am seeing Exit Through The Gift Shop. As the festival goes on I may decide to do some more films, just buying my tickets on the day.
Because this year, ladies and gentlemen, I am doing the Film Fest.