Openning Night (SBIFF 2018)

Reviewed by Keyu Zhu. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, 2018

     The opening night of Santa Barbara Film Festival located at Arlington Theatre in Downtown Santa Barbara. A lot people came to join this event, one hour and a half before the event happens, there is already a lot of people waiting in line for the event or already sitting inside. There are the normal seats and balcony seats which are at the second floor. The night started to greet by Roger, he talked about the how important and unique the film festival brings to local community and also thanks for all the people who contributed to this important film festival. He also thanks to the sponsor UGG and another help by Santa Barbara Hotel, Toyota and so on. Later, he made a nice and touching speech about how much contribution that the firefighters and all the people involved who made the contribution even their lives for the earlier wildfire and the mud flash. Everybody is touching and he made an incredible speech. A lot of filmmakers and stars was taking the pictures on the red carpet. Later he introduced the director of the film The Public, which was selected to be the movie presented on the opening night. They are the director Emilio Estevez, who is also the producer and script writer of this film. He basically showed his appreciation of the Santa Barbara Film Festival chose his movie as the opening night movie and he said it was not easy to make the film. Also, the movie star Jena Malone, Christian Slater and also the director/actor Emilio Estevez shared us some interesting moment while shooting and producing the film. They hope people enjoy their movies and showed great confidence of their movie The Public. At first we watched the short video about the city Santa Barbara, it is the custom every year. Then the movie The public is going to perform. While we were watching the first 10s, the screen just froze and stop moving, which was a technical issue. There is such a problem here, then there is someone explained that there is a technical difficulty with the computer, so the movie and the computer can be barely connected. The movie was on the different format with the computer. We just waited for like 5 minutes and the movie was performing again.  The public is basically about the issues such as race, homeless people and society. It shows us that the homeless people “occupy” the public library on the coldest day in the year. The conflict between the librarian and authority. The main character thinks the authority needs to take care of these homeless people. Otherwise they might be dead because of the weather. However, the authority thinks the public library shouldn’t be occupied since it supposed to be closed. With the effort that the librarian took for these homeless people, these homeless can at least stay in the library for a while and finally get some food and clothing. The movie is really realistic and straightforward, which talks about those social issues. That might be the reason the movie will be chosen to be the opening night film because it tells us to be kind and compassionate about people different than us.

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