I passed out shortly after I posted last night, which was nice, and woke up feeling at least a little better. I'm not completely well, but I definitely feel better than I did last night.
Today was the day of the Jazz Funeral for a Vampire (which keeps putting that Elton John song in my head, the “Funeral for a Friend” one from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road which is my favourite EJ album) and the Scavenger Hunt. I ended up going to only one film, The Revenant, and I went to the “costume party” at the Original Dungeon.
The Funeral Procession was freaking awesome!! I didn't want to drag a hugely complicated costume up here so I went to a costume shoppe in the mall and got a cape and this really cool devil mask and wore that to the procession. Not terribly creative, no, but easy to transport and simple. I wonder what the devil mask looked like in the airport x-ray... The mask is pretty tough plastic, too, not flimsy like most cheap masks.
My first stop, however, was to get some breakfast. While it isn't the original cafe, I went to the Cafe du Monde in Riverwalk to try the beignets which was the one thing most recommended to me to do. It's basically fried dough with a LOT of powdered sugar, but I have to say that it is, in fact, a mouthful of yum. Surprisingly airy, light, and not greasy, they're so gooood. Guess you know where I'm having breakfast tomorrow...and Monday...
I got to Dutch Alley shortly after they wanted us there; I kept stopping to take photos of things on my way to the meeting place. Luckily for me, the festival was still setting up their table so I was able to walk up and help them out a little. Unfortunately, there weren't many filmmakers in attendance. In fact, I may have been the only one, but I don't know. I know I'm not exactly obligated to go to these things, but come on! The procession sounded like fun and, oh dear Lord, it was! We went from Dutch Alley to the triangle stage via the narrow as heck French Market. It was maybe four blocks, but it took us about an hour...OF FUN AND DANCING! I decided a long time ago that I wanted a New Orleans-style funeral and this totally sealed the deal, so pay attention loved ones and future executors! But I also want to be cremated so keep that in mind, too.
I also got to toss beads at people. The festival crew attached fest fliers to the beads and that made untangling the beads difficult. Also, the second time I tossed someone beads, I accidentally hit someone else in the head...so from that point on, I just handed them out. One woman was trying to tell me to loop the beads on my arm to pass them out. She didn't seem to realize that I received them knotted. I think I passed out like fifty of those things. And danced the whole way to the triangle stage. I eventually had to remove the mask, though. It was hot and it was pressing against my right eye.
After that, I went to do the scavenger hunt. Almost everyone there was a local. Cheaters. I eventually teamed up with a couple of people who have lived here for a while and that was pretty cool. Strangely the three of us have Florida ties. I got to see some streets I missed on walkabout the other day AND they pointed out Joan of Arc, which I kept passing and never saw. So much to see in the French Quarter, man.
We got all of the questions (the director of the festival had issue with one of our answers, but the question stumped the locals in our group and two ladies at the tourist information center we went to) and headed back. Turns out the prizes were tickets to the festival and to the ballet, which my team didn't win anyway. I was fine with that, I have the filmmaker badge, but one of my teammates wasn't and kind of stormed off.
After that, I had time to kill so I had lunch at this hole in the wall gyro place called Dixie Gyro. I wasn't expecting much except maybe stomach issues...I'm kind of pessimistic about dive restaurants and this one kinda looked like a dive. As soon as I heard the woman's accent, I knew that my fears were unwarranted about this place. Everything about it was yummy, from their ranch dressing to the beautifully cooked chicken and onions to the lettuce and tomatoes they put in there, and the french fries weren't greasy. They were piping hot and good! If you're in New Orleans and want cheap, good food, it's next door to the Subway on Carondelet. Very small, very good.
After a delicious lunch, I returned to my hotel room for a photo post then left to catch the bus to Zeitgeist, which I missed and ended up grabbing a taxi, and saw The Revenant. I haven't done a movie review for a while, nor have I reviewed the flicks from yesterday yet, but I only saw the one today.
The Revenant is about a soldier who was killed in Iraq and wakes up a vampire and deals with im/moral and im/mortal. I'm boiling it down to it's basics because I don't want to spoil anything. It was a fantastic flick! I highly recommend it! It was hilarious (kind of juvenile humour, but still freaking funny) and thought provoking. A must see if you're disappointed in what passes for vampire right now (still looking at you, Twilight...)
I missed the bus back into town..again...and ended up grabbing a cab back to my hotel to drop off my bag and head out to watch the Krewe of Boo parade. I was going to go to St. Peter's Cathedral, but something made me stop on the neutral area of Canal and St. Peter, where the street cars go. I shouldn't have been right at the corner as it was tough to get attention from the goodies tossers, but it was a fantastic experience! Except for the woman next to me, whom I've dubbed the Vulture. She loved them beads, man...if I hadn't let go of one string, I'd still be around her neck.
Anyway, my favourite floats were the one that looked like Dagon from Lovecraft mythos, the Alien themed float, and (of course) the Vampire Film Festival float. Nope, I was not on it. I wasn't told about it, but then again, I didn't participate in the costume contest. I wanted to do the Scavenger Hunt, darn it!
Where I stopped was so perfect because I had a second chance to get beads because the parade did a u-turn at some point down Canal and came back to head down Tchopatoulas and that's when I got more beads. The people in front of me were almost worse until they got a bunch of beads with an eyeball attached to it from the Dagon float and gave a few to me. I just wanted one so I handed the rest out to other people. I was almost hit in the head once as I walked along side the last float toward my hotel, but I ducked behind a car and the lady the float person was aiming for was able to catch it.
I came back here to kill the hour and a half I had until the party at the Original Dungeon started. Turns out that was when it opened and it wasn't a party for the festival or anything, it was “Hey, you get into this bar for free this night only.” I wanted to go to see the costumes, but also to see a Goth club in New Orleans. I kinda wish I didn't go. Basically, it was as if Disney had made the Castle (a Goth nightclub in Tampa) into a metal bar that fit into a thimble. Very little seating, very little room to move around, and the tunes come from a jukebox full of metal and a few industrial bands. The “dance floor” upstairs played some Goth stuff, but was the size of a shoebox and had very little seating.
I stayed for a while and talked to Jeff who was a photojournalist covering the festival and the goings on in New Orleans this weekend. He was nice and wanted to learn about my favourite flicks and I ended up giving him a bit of a lesson in Argento and Fulci. Mainly Argento. Got to exercise my brain a little. Forgot what Mater Suspiriorum meant (it's Mother of Sighs, by the way...stupid brain fart.)
After a while, I went out and called a cab. Most of the streets in the French Quarter are one way and people cross the street without giving way to the 2,000 pound hunks of moving steel. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so much, no one was hit on the street. Someone did fall down inside Dungeon and badly enough to call an ambulance, blocking traffic pretty far down Toulouse. I think my cab passed me by anyway, but I walked to the end of the jam, grabbed a cab from the company I called, and got out of there. Way too many drunk people. It was like Ybor if Ybor fit into a shoe box. (Ybor is a part of south Tampa that's made up almost entirely of night clubs, but at least they block off traffic at night.)
Now, I'm back in my room with a sore throat from the shouting for beads and a sore body from earlier in the day. I think I'll sleep well tonight!