This is the weekend when our city magazine — and our city — goes nuts.
With dozens of films and thousands of people to see them, journalists at Vox and voxmagazine.com will find plenty of work and not much sleep.
Half of Thursday’s 24-page Vox was devoted to the True/False Film Fest. There are bios of film directors, definitions of events and people (like synapses, canary, chautauqua), and lots and lots of news you can use.
The Vox staff rightly tries to find something new in its coverage from previous years, but I’ve come to depend on some of the standards.
My favorite: “Doc Matrix.” It’s a graphic with documentaries placed in quadrants. The scales go from artsy to mainstream and from heavy to uplifting.
I consulted this feature almost every year to help make my choices. This year, though, I didn’t do my homework. I cheated by consulting an expert.
I sent a text to a friend who gave me recommendations. My friend regularly goes to 15 to 20 films per True/False fest. He’s the kind of film marathoner who needs the eye drops and dental floss that Vox recommends.
Mini reunions are breaking out among the devoted. Former Missourian students have stopped by the newsroom in a steady stream. There was a reporter from Seattle and another reporter from Cedar Rapids. A reporter from Alabama met a reporter from Wyoming at an airport for the drive to Columbia.
They aren’t here to cover a story. They are all here to experience some.
The festival has grown, although co-leader David Wilson told Vox’s Siyu Lei that things are about at the outer edges in terms of geography and length.
That’s fine with me. I’m an admitted lightweight. Four films is my max. I value my sleep too much. The rest I can experience through people watching with a cup of coffee and a piece of sidewalk or on the digital pages of voxmagazine.com and columbiamissourian.com.
So far, it’s caused me nothing but second guesses.
For instance, why didn’t I get tickets for "Life, Animated"? The six-second video reviews by people leaving the Thursday showing suggest I missed a great one. Recovering politician Chris Kelly even tweeted that he “just watched the best film I have ever seen @truefalse.”
Vox writers have their own reviews as well. Thursday morning, after the tickets were in my hands, I had a case of buyer’s regret over “Weiner.”
That’s the film about the mayoral run of New York City’s Anthony Weiner. After all, I thought, I get enough about politics every day reading the newspaper.
But Ryan McElroy’s review gives me hope that a documentarian’s lens will bring something fresh and new to this story of the politician who couldn’t keep himself from scandal. (No, that’s not a spoiler alert. You can read it in the archives.)
That’s one story we could all use a little more of.