Day sixteen – and so it ends

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Sigh.

It’s over.

What a brilliant two weeks. The last two days were good ones, tinged a little with sadness that it was all coming to an end but I made the most of them.

I skipped a film on Friday morning. It was my five film day and I woke up feeling a bit exhausted so had a slow morning and saw my first film at 1.30pm. It was the right decision as I got through the day without a problem. I enjoyed all four films and they were very different from each other. Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad was a beautifully told story about the Armenian holocaust and the repercussions that continue for displaced peoples. Grey Gardens was a 1975 US documentary about an eccentric and aging mother and daughter living in squalor in a decaying mansion. Magic Magic was the new film from Sebastian Silva, who directed The Maid, a film I saw during the week and really liked.

Probably the biggest experience of the day was seeing Love in 3D. A full cinema with everyone excitedly ready for a film they knew would be confronting, as it had lots of unsimulated sex. It was not a perfect film but I won’t easily forget it.

Seeing four films in a row meant not much time for food but a highlight was quickly buying báhn mì and fruit tea before Love. I was starving, it was cold and rainy and the food was delicious (báhn mì is a Vietnamese bread roll with salad and meat and pate and coriander and chili). My fruit tea had pearl balls and lychee and passionfruit – it’s a strange thing drinking tea through a straw and sucking up chewy bits.

On Saturday, my last day, I ran into friends Jen and Harley outside the Forum, thinking that’s where I was supposed to be. They were down in Melbourne for a 21st and had bought tickets to one film – The Treasure. It turned out that I was at the wrong cinema and so I crossed the road to see Putuparri and the Rainmakers at ACMI. I liked this Australian documentary showing the personal side of native title and it shifted my understanding of the meaning of Country for Aboriginal people.

Melbourne was my last Iranian film and the best of the three I saw. It was claustrophobic and made me squirm in my seat but this was all part of the experience.

And then I finished it all up with a completely ludicrous Peter Greenaway film, Eisenstein in Guanajuato. So ludicrous that I had no problem walking out of it and going back to my favourite CBD eatery, Lucy Lui. The green papaya salad was sensational.

I packed up my groovy East Melbourne apartment this morning and headed home via Ballarat – how great is that Western Freeway on a Sunday? Triple J Like a Version on loud, the sun shining, drinking coffee and zooming past the trucks. With help from Nina and Ruby, I installed an exhibition of my photos at the Ballarista Cafe in Lydiard St South and then started the long trek back home.

I’m here now. All three of my daughters hugged me and would only let go when prised off me. The fire is lit, I have a cup of tea. Work tomorrow. I don’t suppose you know of any jobs going for film bloggers?

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