How to Survive a 24-Hour Movie Marathon

BNAT 2012

Fellow Minnesotans at Butt-Numb-a-Thon 14

Reader James C asks:

Hi Melissa, I have a question about BNAT but, not really about Butt Numb A Thon. Our local theatre here in Vancouver, BC is doing a 24 hour marathon soon and I thought maybe you could give me some tips on what you brought to get through the trip. Doubtless the seats at our theatre are not as great as the ALAMO and our theatre does not serve food (but I assume you would not just keep ordering food from them as it would be expensive) so what else can an 11-time BNAT professional guide a newbie through the 24 hours of sheer awesome? Thank you.

Hooray for the upcoming marathon at the Cinematheque! I am envious!

Yes, surviving a 24-hour marathon of movies is a unique experience that requires some special planning. Each particular event has its own personality and logistical needs depending on the organizers and the venue. (For example, the Alamo Drafthouse serves great food at the Butt-Numb-a-Thon, but you have to bring all your own food to B-Fest, which is housed in a university student union center.) However, most of the below survival tips will apply no matter what venue you are at.

Continue Reading →

Paper Plates and Delightfully Bad Movies

Kelvin at B-Fest

Kelvin, my partner in crime for the enjoyment of great-terrible cinema

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kelvin and I went to B-Fest, a 24-hour film festival dedicated to B-movies. That’s right: when you attend B-Fest, you sit in a theater and watch gloriously cheesy films for 24 hours straight.

Quality of films aside, B-Fest also differs from other film festivals I do in that there is zero requirement to be reverent in the Church of Theater. At B-Fest, attendees whoop, holler, chant, sing, and otherwise interact with the films. At midnight, when Plan 9 from Outer Space always plays, it is expected that everyone will fling paper plates whenever a UFO appears. As soon as a dangling, shiny disk appears on the screen, the entire auditorium erupts with paper plates. This tradition is so beloved that people have even taken to decorating all their plates beforehand.

B-Fest 2013 Plate Series

I made several of my plates educational.

(Click here if you want to see more samples of the paper plates that Kelvin and I made.)

Besides the Rocky Horror-style treatment of Plan 9 from Outer Space, I ate lots junk food, hung out with a bunch of people from the B Movie Message Board, and watched a ton of delightfully trashy filmmaking. The full list of films shown is listed on the web site, but I figured I’d highlight a couple of my favorites. Continue Reading →

Digital Decluttering

BSODI finally came to the conclusion that there is just too much incoming information.

Yeah, I know. I was once that person on LiveJournal that kept up on everyone digitally, and I posted huge volumes of text every day. Going back further, I was a lively BBS message board participant. I was a strange fish in high school back in the early 1990s because a huge number of my friends were neither my age or local. I was a master at communicating with people online.

But at some point, it got out of hand.

I’m not sure I can point to a single cause. Maybe I accumulated too many social connections for my monkeysphere. Maybe, through my extremely minor nerd fame as a CONvergence panelist / podcaster / former comics colorist/letterer, I accumulated too many online connections to people I don’t really know at all. Perhaps, since I moved to using a standing desk thanks to a back injury, I now have less tolerance for just staring at a computer screen with no particular goal.

Whatever the reason, I just can’t keep up.

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Tonight: Raiders the Adaptation

raidersBack in the mid-1980s, two kids in Mississippi decided to make a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The project took seven years to complete.

This project, now called Raiders: The Adaptation, remained relatively unknown until director Eli Roth snuck a copy of it to Harry Knowles, who played part of it at the 2002 Butt-Numb-a-Thon. I was lucky enough to be at that screening, and witnessed first-hand the enchantment that befell the audience. Since the kids shot the film mostly in chronological order, we got watch the kids grow up, watch them grow as filmmakers, and watch them pull off some pretty amazing things.

From there, the film became Internet-famous, leading the now-adult lead actor and director into e-fame, book deals, and even a meeting with Steven Spielberg.

You can’t see the film online. You can, however, see it on the big screen.

When and Where: February 7th, 7:00pm at the Riverview Theater

Chris Strompolous, aka Indiana Jones, will be there tonight with the film. I sat next to him at Butt-Numb-a-Thon this year, and I can vouch that he’s a pretty awesome dude.

You want to be there tonight.

Trust me.

B-Fest Tour de Kitch!

In my most recent, relatively short road trip, I naturally encountered a variety of roadside oddities. I hereby give you the first 2013 Tour de Kitch!

Yoga Frogs Cow tipping shot glass? Why not!
Lyndon Station, Wisconsin:
Yoga frogs? Sure, why not!
Lyndon Station, Wisconsin:
Why, I had no idea that cow tipping may involve alcohol.
WHAT. THE. This is the last moment captured by my phone when the battery died last night.
Lyndon Station, Wisconsin:
Hala Kahiki, River Grove, Illinois:
This is the last thing my phone saw before the battery died.
"Do you have pork?" "No!" Self-Serve Wooden Native American?
Schaumberg, Illinois:
“Do you have pork?”
“How about beef?”
“Are you out of your damn mind?!”
Hixton, Wisconsin:
This poor guy needs a shirt.