Packed theaters, chattering, word-spreading festival goers, and a large and varied assortment of celebrity appearances are some of the hallmarks of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Oh, and people. Lots of people. Some 85,000 movie mavens, by the festival's count, are expected to queue up in 2009, which means we aren't talking about emptyish theaters that are so quiet you can hear individual popcorn pieces hitting the ground in sad little plops.
Nope, LAFF is big, it lasts for 11 days, and during that time over 200 flicks are running, if not around the clock, then pretty close. Documentaries, shorts, features -- you name it, it is up on a screen somewhere in or near Westwood.
And what's up on the screen on opening night is "Paper Man," about a blues-battling gentleman and the maybe-not-there superhero who is hanging around the edges of his life. Jeff Daniels and Ryan Reynolds. And Lisa Kudrow. And Emma Stone, who made "Superbad" extra awesome. A solid cast.
If you're not going to be at the Mann Village for the gala night, there are still many, many movies ahead. Many. And we're talking up the easy grids on the web site, LAFF; grids are good.
Festival venues vary (most centered around Westwood); June 18-28