Yesterday around 6pm, the sun was shining and the air was cool. As I stepped off the Bathurst streetcar and turned towards the Amsterdam brewery the smell of hops filled the air. Thursday nights are the ones I look forward to the most. Since last summer I’ve been volunteering for a very unique film fest called Open Roof. Last year I fell in love with it, hence why I keep returning.
The concept is simple. Screen movies outdoors. Specifically behind the Amsterdam brewery so the beer’s flowing all night. Preceding the film a band plays and a different food stand serves incredible food every week. This is Open Roof Fest.
Last night’s screening in particular applies to the ‘sex’ category of films I talk about on this blog. The film was Hysteria and the co-presenters last night were We-Vibe and The Everything to do with Sex Show! To say I was excited is an understatement. Although I was quite busy working at the (very hectic) concessions stand, I totally whipped my phone out when We-Vibe held a mini-Twitter contest to win a free vibe. Contests like that one are a common sight at the fest, who hosts different co-presenters based on the theme of the screening each week.
The crowd at the fest is pretty neat. Even with the wait for popcorn, people are friendly and happy to be there. I’m sure the beer helps, but it’s also just nice to be surrounded by people who are all there for the same reason, to have a good time. Of course, I don’t doubt for a second that Hysteria drew an exceptional crowd, and the free vibrators were definitely a reason to grin. The film itself (the parts I could watch–so hectic!) was a riot. Based on the invention of the vibrator as a cure to women’s psychosis, the movie was part a historical account and part light-hearted romantic comedy. Maggie Gyllenhaal is also a babe, so you know, points for that.
Do not fret just because you missed out on Hysteria last night. Open Roof happens all summer until the end of August. There’s three more screenings left which you can check out on the Open Roof website. Next week’s Indie Game is the one I’ve been anxiously awaiting since missing it at both Hot Docs and TIFF Bell Lightbox. There are still tickets left for Indie Game but even if the screening is sold out online, come on the day of around 7:30 and if the weather’s nice we’ll have plenty of seats for you.
Open Roof is a gem of a festival I look forward to each summer. An although I don’t think they’ll be screening a gorey snuff film anytime soon, what they show and the atmosphere it’s showed in cannot be beat. See you there!