I was up in Seattle last Saturday for the Science Fiction and Fantasy film festival. It’s an annual event sponsored by the Science Fiction Museum. This year, Norwescon pitched some support to it, too. I’ve attended this festival for years, and I’ve seen it go from infancy to being a sophisticated collection of international films. This year we viewed films from Bangladesh, Spain, the UK and of coure the US and other locations. My enjoyment was substantially increased by the company I was keeping. I had with me Kat Ogden of Sabotage and Dialogue and Seattle AD Tony Becerra, currently working on season two of Journey-Quest for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. Listening to them critique the films and discuss the finer points they noticed made me really think about how story translates to Film. And there were some amazing films! Visualize giant chickens, with ninja chefs defending the world from their attacks. A story of time travel that gives us a peek at obsession gone wrong. A startlingly beautiful stroll through the tale of Bluebeard. What would you do if you knew that despite your brilliance, you were doomed to die on your13th birthday. If you were a swan maiden captured by a hunter, could you truly live happily ever after? All these concepts and more were offered to us.
At the break, we wandered off for Thai food and then came back for the second round. Afterwards, we attended the mixer for the directors and producers (where I was a bit over my head! I’m a words on a screen person!) and then I carpooled home with Kat.
It had been a great evening with good friends, tasty food and wonderful entertainment. Nothing could make that better, could it?
Nothing except stopping at a light and glancing over to see that there, right THERE, in the lane next to me was THE PHOENIX! A black car emblazoned with his name idled next to us for a few moments. Seattle’s own crime-fighting costumed super hero!
Okay, just STOP! I know there is controversy over costumed super heroes in our cities, and that sometimes the police are less than thrilled with their efforts. I’m not advocating vigilantiism or anything that approaches it. I am saying that the idea of anyone who gives of his own time and resources to try to help people is a hero to me.
When I glanced over and saw his vehicle with the decals on it, my heart gave a little leap. And my faith in humanity, that has been a bit at a low ebb, was suddenly bolstered at the sight of someone who genuinely wants to fight on the side of right, and protect the average citizens of Seattle. And the fact that his headquarters are in a comic shop makes him a book person, too, and definitely my kind of hero.
So there it was. My great evening out. SF and fantasy films with good friends, great food, and a glimpse of a super hero cruising Seattle on my way home.
Go ahead. Just try to beat that for a night on the town!