SFIFF53: Dispatch #7, Closing Night Party


Friend of the Rumpus Tony DuShane sent us this dispatch from the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Closing Night Party.

I’ve been covering the SFIFF since 2000, except when it coincided with rewrites of my novel the last two years. This year it coincided with a bitch of a chest cold after doing publicity for the novel at the LA Times Festival of Books. I only say this because I want you to understand that I couldn’t actually cover any film events this year and that bums me out to no end because it was a great program.

As a proper journalist and writer, when I cover these types of parties I go straight for the booze and free food. SFIFF doesn’t skimp on quality and I always forget to bring a foiled bag to bring home leftovers. Yeah, I’m that classy writer, a novelist with a block of cheese and a bag of salad that is about a month old in my fridge. I’m a catch.

The party took place at 1015 Folsom. Not a club I would enter any other time than for the film festival.

Just as important as the free food and booze is the company of people who show up to the festival. It was great to see a lot of regulars in the local San Francisco film scene. It reminds me just how important the SFIFF is … the longest running film festival in the Americas. Here, in San Francisco. I wouldn’t expect it any other way.

Those who stay with the festival, who continue to cover the film festival, they’re all a delight to drink with. Some I see around town while doing a Tenderloin or Mission bar hop. It reminds me we’re a close community of artists, working for what we love.

Full disclosure: I’m newly single after two very long-term relationships. Like, I have minimal single experience. I’m Jon Favreau’s character in Swingers. So, with my wing woman, Midori, and later, my wing man, Harmon, I tried to say hello to some ladies. What I wanted for this piece was a narrative about how I met this woman and she was a Giants fan, she read my book, she understood my sensitivity and the genius of The Mighty Boosh and we’d finally kiss in a corner, not too much, just enough so that we can save it up for a proper first date.

That’s my fantasy, don’t make fun of it. Later fantasies might include fishnet stockings, but I’m not sure what my size is.

The band who performed around 10 p.m. was My First Earthquake. The lead singer was Rebecca. She was gorgeous. Midori said she was going to get me an introduction.

Well, it wasn’t that she was gorgeous, it was that she had charisma, she had that stage presence, she had that umph, that je ne sais quoi.

Let me back up a bit. I suck at being “winged” because then I feel like there are expectations. Like I have to give some type of production if someone has given me the favor of being winged. It’s something I’ll discuss with my therapist next week, but I talked to Rebecca and she passed The Mighty Boosh test and laughed at my jokes and was very sweet. Their band was perfect for the event and I plan to do more research on them to see if I should cover them for another outlet. Rebecca had to go help unload their gear, so she gave me a firm handshake.

These days, when I get a handshake, I brag to my friends. I have a new definition for, “oh yeah, I tapped that.” A firm handshake: “I tapped that.” A hug with breasts pushed into my chest: “I was all up on that.” It’s to help my ego around my guy friends who sleep with anyone and everyone.

Rebecca from My First Earthquake. I tapped that.

Oh, and there were lights out front at 1015 Folsom. Those lights that you can see for miles away and know a big event was happening. Everyone was really friendly and I got to meet a lot of great people who worked hard on the festival this year. I guess with my new definition you can say about Chris, I tapped that, and Scott, I tapped that, and Greg, I tapped that, and Beth Lisick, it was in-between I tapped that and I was all up on that since we gave a sideways hug. And her husband is a large man who will smack that when it comes to me, if I insinuate anything different. Lisick did the Porchlight Storytelling event with the SFIFF this year. It’s been a staple of San Francisco for many years, but the first time tied in with the film festival.

Artists loving art. Film makers and fans for the love of the story. Writers, eating what they can, stuff their cheeks like chipmunks, who are in this writing and storytelling business for the long haul.

The closing night of SFIFF was more than a gala event, it was a celebration of everything that makes San Francisco a great artistic community.

And the buff Asian bartender. Yeah, I tapped that.

Tony DuShane is the author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk. His writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Penthouse, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Believer. And, if you’re a Nick Cave fan, check out Nick Cave Monday. More from this author →