Ten Movies in Five Days: Having Fun Is Exhausting

The Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) is over, and yesterday, we dropped off Dee at the bus station so that she could return to New York City. Afterwards, we returned to Winthrop, whereupon we collapsed on the couch and took a long nap. Why we should get so tired after a week of having fun is beyond me. Old age? No stamina? At any rate, we were wiped out.

But what a great week we had! As the title of this post indicates, we saw ten movies in five days. Waterville, Maine, is very lucky to have this film festival to bring a cultural spark to the area. It is also a boost to local businesses. Central Maine is not a destination for tourists, and while we have a slight influx of summer people who come to this region’s lakes, we do not have the great number of visitors that coastal communities have. During MIFF, the owner of one small cafe noted that they had made an extra several hundred dollars each day because of MIFF. For a small business, that is a big help.

And speaking of small…one of the things I especially like about MIFF is having the chance to watch really small movies that I probably wouldn’t see anywhere else, not even at Railroad Square. We saw two such movies last week: The first was Waiting for Barcelona, Finnish filmmaker Juho-Pekka Tanskanena’s beautifully-shot documentary about immigrants. The second was Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, in which a little girl is accused of being a witch and is sent to a witch camp. Set in Zambia, I Am Not a Witch is a haunting fable suffused with magical realism. 

Between movies, we, of course, had to eat, and in downtown Waterville, we discovered Itali-ah Restaurant and Market.

From the snappy cocktail

to the sweet little bread basket and fabulous olive oil

to the pizza with its perfect sauce and crunchy crust,

it was love at first bite. So good, so good! Itali-ah even has gelato, one of my passions, and we stopped in twice for a cool, creamy treat on a hot summer’s day.

Now that MIFF is over, and we aren’t seeing two movies a day, you might think we are at loose ends. But fear not. Two new movies have arrived at Railroad Square. They are Leave no Trace and Sorry to Bother You.

Always something happening in Central Maine. And in between, we even manage to get a few things done.


31 thoughts on “Ten Movies in Five Days: Having Fun Is Exhausting”

  1. I’m jealous of the pizza, although I would have put more goo in the middle pre-making so there was less bare crust left. It’s great you have a nice film festival that shows smaller, more unusual films. We get that kind of movie here too at the Woodstock Film Festival, and at the Upstate Films theaters in Woostock and Rhinebeck, which are playing Leave No Trace and some other unusual films, and this year’s Festival gonna-be-trendy insider teeshirt is drawn by a person who does the New Yorker covers. I genuinely like it and bought one for me and one for the spouse.

    1. I have been to Upstate in Rhinebeck. Love it! And believe it or not, Upstate and Railroad Square are sister cinemas.

      1. Good! There used to be a small cinema in Burlington Vermont when I lived there, and I got to watch tons of alternative film decades ago, while eating decent Lindt chocolate bars, which were not in supermarkets yet at that time, so I felt very sophisticated. I still have the raincoat-trenchcoat that I wore those days–

  2. Having fun is exhausting! 😛 Was thinking about you guys having fun all week!

  3. We always need a vacation to get over our vacation! Having fun IS exhausting!

    1. My goodness! At the Maine International Film Festival, you never know where a film will come from. Part of the charm and the fun.

  4. So cool that you guys support the arts in such a committed way. Sounds like a great week. I heard a review of “Sorry to Bother You” on NPR & it sounded awesome.

    1. Too funny! Yes, you would have loved the pizza. And Clif told me the beer was good,

    1. Tee-hee! Good point, but I think it was the intensity of the movies and all the stimulation.

  5. How wonderful that you support MIFF and local restaurants! That is being a global citizen and keeping it local at the same time! I appreciate your blogging as always.❤

  6. The pizza looks tasty. I’m not really a film person, although on long haul flights I’ll watch several back to back, but it’s good to support local festivals. They can revitalise a community, though it can take years for their full effect to appear.

    1. Railroad Square Cinema has brought so much not only to Waterville but also to central Maine. As you noted, it can take years for the full effect to appear. And it has.

  7. Wonderful photos, especially that pizza!! Sounds like a perfect week – lots of movies, pizza, cocktails and time with family! I love film festivals and Leave No Trace has been added to my watchlist.

  8. Just saw Leave No Trace
    A beautiful, heartfelt movie that felt emotionally true. I can’t recommend it enough.

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