Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Morning commute

I passed an enormous plush radish on my way to work this morning. The poor soul within it was walking uphill as I was walking down, and I was very sorry to have left my camera in the office last night because it looked awesome.

Among the many odd aspects of this festival is the bizarre influx of business. During the winter, Karlovy Vary is a sleepy little spa town. But during the festival, the town imports businesses from all over the country. Clubs send satellites to set up shop for two weeks in vacant palaces (this was, after all, a favorite vacation spot for European royalty and celebrities a few centuries back, so there are plenty of palaces to fill). And the sponsors have all got tents and exhibitions and mascots and things, so you walk down the street and pass by a Chester Cheeto-esque representative posing with two backpackers, or a handful of festgoers pedaling away on stationary bikes for charity, or, you know, an enormous radish stumbling uphill, and it's all a bit surreal.

Or maybe everything feels surreal after yesterday, when I managed to spend 16 hours in the Thermal. To be fair, I was only working from 10 to midnight. The last two hours were self-inflicted, as one of my colleagues and I were determined that we would see a movie in the cinema before we left -- as opposed to the way we normally watch them, slouched in front of our computers in 15-minute increments in between edits.

As press, we're entitled to four free tickets every day. But because we tend to be so busy during the day, the midnight screenings tend to be the easiest option. Which is how I ended up last night at a Norwegian horror flick called "Troll Hunter," which was much better than you're imagining. In fact, I'd say it was excellent. I would fully support Ain't It Cool News' description of it as "pretty damn spectacular."

Think Blair Witch Project -- only the kids are out to discover whether the legends of a troll-rich region in the heart of Norway (protected, natch, by a top-secret bureaucratic cover-up) are true. Their investigations lead them to a strange man who seems to know more than he lets on, so they follow him late at night down a creepy unmarked road, film gear in tow. You will never guess what comes next. Unless, of course, you've ever seen a horror movie. In that case, you know exactly what's coming next.

Fun fact: The Norwegian word for "troll piss" seems to be trollpis. I'm probably spelling that wrong, but it sounds exactly the same. It really is a small world after all...

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