Five weeks. It’s enough time to feel like you’ve lived some place, but not so long that you actually have.
The FAMU summer program was hands down one of the greatest experiences of my life. Every year, Emerson is one of the numerous film schools that ships about 2 dozen lucky students off to the Czech Republic to have the time of their lives. It was summer camp, but for 20-something film students. It was a family vacation with no fighting. It was spring break for an entire summer.
Of 2 dozen classmates, I met virtually all of them for the first time. I consider the majority of those to be among my closest friends to this day. The majority. How many best friends do you get to have in your life? Imagine meeting 15 of them at once. That’s what it was like.
It felt like a once in a lifetime experience, but there must be something in the air, because I’m told that it’s like this every summer. 2 years later, I’m still talking about going back, but it won’t feel right unless I bring 15 of my closest friends with me.
We always say, “Someday I’m gonna make some money and drag everyone back.” It’s probably not true, but it’s nice to fantasize about recapturing the past.
Sandwhiched inside the funnest 2 weeks of my life was a field trip to this world war 2 concentration camp. Terezin stands as a monument to nazis asshole-ness. It feels like you don’t belong, like no one could ever possibly belong in a place that evil. Especially hippies, stoners, and skateboarders. Of all the people that come from around the world to pay homage to the crimes of the past, it didn’t feel like we were the right emissaries.
German school children go on field trips to the camps every year and learn about their dark history. That makes sense, but they’re just kids. When I was their age I went to Canobee Lake Park. Watching them walk around the place just aching to have fun doesn’t fly. They still drink milk for god’s sake. They have lunch boxes. They giggle.
On the other hand, I don’t know who could possibly go and feel like they belong. Better to know that you don’t.
There was some levity on the trip in the form of an adorable kitten that guarded the gate, but the larger point remains. Nazis are douchey.
You watch 6 movies a day for three years. Your skin loses its pigment completely, becoming transparent. You get a job at your local videostore and you save more on free movies than you make in minimum wages. You sleep all day and watch movies all night. You’re a freak. A vampire.
Then you go to your first film festival. There are a hundred people there just like you, sacrificing the fullness of their lives for the love of a good flick. Everyone is on a never ending quest to find just one more good movie.
Tickets are 2 dollars.