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Astoria vs. Williamsburg. It’s a friendly rivalry between my group of friends, and I can say with certainty that we are not the only ones that debate on which neighborhood is better for the thriving, young, New York professional. Do you want more space for less money in quiet Queens, or stimulation and action at every turn in bohemian Brooklyn? It can get ugly. As most of you know, I am partial to Astoria’s charms, but as long as Williamsburg keeps hosting Wes Anderson Bingo Night at local bar Videology, I will continue to try and broker piece between the two worlds.
Last night my pal Jenna was somehow able to drag me out of my apartment on what was the coldest night of winter to date. She lured me with Videology, a video store-turned-bar that hosts nightly screenings and fun games to match. Last night was Wes Anderson Bingo. It’s free. Awesome.
The corner bar is candlelit and has a spacious back room set up like a screening area, with walls lined with DVDs and a giant projector screen. Bingo starts at 8:30, but I recommend getting there about 45 minutes early to get a good seat, because it fills up fast.
Each player is doled out a bingo card and chips. Cozy up with a drink and let the viewing begin. (Might I also suggest ordering bowls of creative popcorn like parmesan and three pepper, or chili, lime and tequila.)
The spaces on the bingo cards have generic Wes Anderson style choices (knit cap, vintage eyewear, plunky harpsichord music). Whenever any of these appear in the movie, you place a chip down on your card. Last night’s viewing was Moonrise Kingdom.
Prizes range anywhere from pre-stamped envelopes (it is Williamsburg, after all) to free drinks and movie soundtracks. It’s just good fun. To be fair, this is a relatively new endeavor and Videology is still working out the kinks, but the atmosphere is laid back, fun and everyone seems to have a great time. And even if you aren’t into bingo, there are worse ways to spend a Tuesday night than sitting back in a dim bar with a beer watching a Wes Anderson flick.
Most importantly – if you live in the New York area and have not checked out BBQ Films, then…well…you should.
Saturday night I ushered in the Year of the Dragon while eating unlimited dumplings, drinking Heineken and watching Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. It was a Dumpling Kung Fu Speakeasy. Seriously.
BBQ Films is a cinema ‘social club’ that showcases both mainstream and Indie films throughout the city, combined with food and alcohol. Amen to the underground, semi-hipster, non-douchey functions in New York.
The ticket was incredibly affordable at just $25 (not bad, considering most theaters charge $13 for a ticket and that does not include food and beer).
Be sure to check out their site here or follow them on Twitter (@BBQfilms) to find out what’s happening next.
Also – I realize last Wednesday was supposed to be Name that Skyline, but, I was on vacation. Skyline-freaks be forewarned that this Wednesday, February 8, will be the makeup date for the contest.
For those of you who have never been to Sundance Film Festival, you might have had the same picture that I had: Strolling into movie after movie, unlimited access to VIP parties, making out with celebs. Pretty much living like an A-lister.
So I donned my Ray-Bans and headed out to Park City, Utah….only to find out I was a little misguided.
Saturday: After Friday night’s welcome (I used my womanly ways to get myself and three of my male companions into a Stoli vodka party – Dudes, if you’re not on the list then always lead with a chick. Ladies, it helps to be slightly bitchy) I was ready to see movies. And here is where my fantasies of celebrity living came to a halt. Picture this: 200 people crammed like cattle into tiny waiting rooms for up to four hours per movie, hoping that enough people with advance tickets don’t show up so that you can get in. Odds of that happening on opening weekend? Not very good. I spent a good eight hours in lines and the only movies I saw were the ones I played in my head to pass the time (I know every line of Wet Hot American Summer by heart). By the time 6 p.m. rolled around I hated the name Robert Redford and didn’t feel like going out in his city.
Sunday: Trying to make the best of things I decided not to see movies until after the weekend. Instead, my group decided to go to Village at the Yard, a tent full of luxury-brand freebees. A day of drinking free vodka tonics and rummaging Sephora products? Yes, please!
Not so fast, Meagan…Being a newly employed member of society I don’t have any business cards, and when attending an event designed strictly for media professionals proof is necessary. Basically no cards, no entry.
I had just about given up on Sundance when I decided that I was going to get in somewhere. Anywhere. I jumped on a line snaking out of Harryo’s bar and lounge on Main Street. It was the line to get into the ESPN party for NFL playoffs and you had to be on the list. Now I couldn’t care less about football, but I HAD to get in. So I asked the guy in front of me if he was on the list and if I could be his plus one. And finally my luck had changed. I strolled in to Harryo’s, pink wristband firmly secured, and grabbed myself a complimentary Bud Lite. Bud Lite never tasted so much like Champagne.
I spent the afternoon shmoozing (a great Sundance past time) and eyeing Terrell Owens and Aaron Rogers (apparently they are big deals…). As I headed out on my way to my condo I heard a man say, “Those are nice,” referring to my black tights. I smiled and said thank you and it took me all of half a second to realize who it was.
“Excuse me, are you Ian Ziering?” (Being a HUGE 90210 fan I knew immediately that this was Steve Sanders.)
“Yes, I am.”
Now I was at Sundance. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Ian Ziering is a C-lister, at best. But after two whole days of nothing but denials, he may as well have been Brad Pitt.
I spent the next hour wrapped up in a one-on-one conversation with Ian (we’re on a first-name basis). I taught him some writing tricks, he showed me an acting exercise. I briefly asked him about 90210. Tacky, but I had to ask. (By the way, those were the best 10 years of his life.)
And Monday? I saw two movies and a third on Tuesday.
So was it the red-carpet trip I envisioned? Not really. But I did get to see my movies, I hit up a few VIP parties, and as for making out with celebs? I never kiss and tell.