Jerome "Flick" Schaefer fesses up to being one of those Star Wars geeks obsessed with George Lucas' 28-years-in-the-making space opera. But even he was taken aback by the fans who have camped outside the Senator in recent years to ensure they get a ticket for that all-important midnight showing on opening day.
"I knew this was a huge event," says Schaefer, an editor and commercial videographer for WBFF-Channel 45, "but it shocked me that all those people were waiting in line for so long."
Combining his Star Wars fandom and his skills with a video camera, Schaefer had been documenting the faithful ever since Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace opened in May 1999. Six minutes of his work can be seen before every Senator showing of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, thanks to a short film Schaefer has compiled featuring interviews with some of the more dedicated fans.
In fact, many fans are interviewed more than once; half the fun is seeing how these guys and gals age over six years, and their chagrin at how earlier words come back to haunt them.
Take one guy who, when interviewed in 1999, proclaims that fans should see Star Wars films "as many times as we can, until we die." Six years later, he allows as how that attitude was a little extreme.
"The fun part," Schaefer says, "was finding these people again each time, and reintroducing them to everybody."
For Schaefer, getting in line at the Senator has produced more than just celluloid memories. Currently at work as writer-director of a film of his own, Harm City, his key grip, C.J. Tabott, is a guy he met in line.
Films at the Charles
Rize, fashion photographer David LaChapelle's documentary look at "krumping," a new and stunningly frenetic dance form coming out of South Central Los Angeles, is this weekend's offering at Cinema Sundays at the Charles.
Doors open at 9:45 a.m., with the movie starting at 10:35 a.m. Tickets are $15. Information: 410-727-FILM or www.cinema sundays.com.
Preston Sturges' 1942 comedy The Palm Beach Story, starring Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor in a story of love, wealth, sacrifice and life among the clueless, is this week's revival feature at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St. Showtimes are noon tomorrow, 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $5. Information: 410-727-FILM.
Tribute to Fassbinder
The Creative Alliance's tribute to German writer-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder concludes Wednesday with his 1969 film Katzelmacher, the story of a group of friends whose aimlessness is challenged by the arrival of a newcomer who raises the ire of the men and the ardor of the woman.
Showtime at the Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., is 8 p.m. Wednesday; tickets are $5. Information: www.creativealliance.org or 410-276-1651.
Legendary Spanish director Luis Bunuel's 1950 Los Olvidados, a look at Mexico City street gangs, will be the subject of tomorrow's Filmtalk at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. The film will be shown at 10 a.m., with discussion to follow. Information: 410-396-5487.