LAFF 2008: Red Rum! Red Room!

I'm taking the day off from the festival today due to other business (L.A. Press Club Awards and L.A. Film Critics Association stuff, all in one day), so to tide you over before I talk about BAGHEAD and X-CROSS (maybe by tomorrow morn, if you're lucky), I have a couple photos of the Target Red Room, that oh-so-vital lounge where, if one so chose, the films could be skipped entirely in favor of drinking the night away at no cost.

The Red Room, alas, has downgraded from last year, when it was a three level facility (the old Tower Records building in Westwood) with air hockey, video games, and two levels of bathrooms. Now it's across the street in a storefront, more lavishly decorated than before but with less space.

There's still lots of free snacks, most of them cleverly concealed in this chest of drawers that my friend, actress Megan Frances, is demonstrating below...

And the bar doesn't open until 6 now. It was 5 last year, but I remember the good old days when it used to open at 3. These days the festival itself is barely started by 3. At least the movies are better this year. That's what ought to matter most.

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And the sponsoring liquor is rum. Though I miss Absolut Vodka slightly, since the film fest always seemed to coincide with them busting out a new flavor (there hasn't been a new one this year, so maybe that's why they stopped), I have to say that vodka doesn't treat me well, causing me to sometimes bleed in places I'd rather not. Too much information? Of course, but I'm the writer and you're not, so deal with it.

Point being, rum is what I got buzzed on after many car troubles. Basically: car's in the shop for a new heater core, which takes forever as they apparently have to take the whole dashboard apart to do it. And even though I asked them last time it was in the shop to check for coolant leaks, none of the folks figured that the core itself was worth checking, because they "had no way of knowing." Then, at 1:30 a.m. on the way home from the fest Thursday night, the front right tire on my rental car just exploded. So I had to take that to the shop and get a new rental.

The rum takes the edge off. Behold me enjoying some with Weekly contributor (and former film editor) Ron Stringer:

Ron got his hat at some stylish store. Mine was six bucks at Goodwill in Santa Ana.

Actual movie-related talk coming tomorrow. Promise.

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