Everyone knows there are times of the year when Hollywood looks especially Hollywood-y, in all of its mythic, flashbulbs-a-poppin', star-perfect glamour.
Oscar time qualifies here, for sure, but we may go out on a limb — or perhaps cinema balcony is more apt — and say that AFI FEST also brings a notable Hollywood-ness to Hollywood, and for a longer period of time, too.
This isn't to say that the dear Academy Awards aren't downright opulent and storied, but the November AFI FEST presented by Audi runs for well over a week and those flashbulbs are poppin' each and every night, and the red carpet is doing its iconic, shoe-cushioning thing, and the whole stretch of the boulevard feels as starry as the sky above the TCL Chinese Theatre's famous green rooftop.
Thursday, Nov. 5 will get a whole lot starrier when the Opening Night Gala film of the 2015 festival has its world premiere at the most famous movie theatre in the world. It's the just-announced "By the Sea," and if you think you know it, you know it, because its screenwriter and director is Angelina Jolie Pitt.
Ms. Pitt also stars in the film, alongside her husband Brad Pitt.
It is, thus far, the only announced film on the 2015 schedule, but more'll tumble down the Tinseltown turnpike in the weeks ahead. And then, that most magical day of all arrives, Monday, Oct. 26, when the free general seating tickets open up for all films playing during AFI FEST.
Ah yes; every seat is free, to every movie, if you are lucky and nab one, thanks to the festival's Audi partnership. It's tradition, it's anticipated like all get-out, and it is a nicety that infuses a sense of come-one-come-all hometown-a-tude into the movie business's hometown.
Of course, there are passes available now, for purchase, which give the pass holder a buffet of excellent extras.
What other movies will have their premieres? What other movies will get the buzz? And is there a more red-carpet-y time of year on Hollywood Boulevard?
Okay, Oscars, for sure, you rule in that corner. But AFI FEST truly kicks off that award season run, and with some mondo star power under its Hollywood hood.
The 29th AFI FEST unfurls from Nov. 5 through 12.