As a rising senior at JHU, I always relish academic opportunities that take me off campus and into Baltimore. Momentarily ignoring the actual event, the location of the Creative Alliance attracted my attention. The flavor of the neighborhood seemed distinctly Hispanic (as a Latin American Studies major, my intellectual taste buds can’t help but react to the quinceañra dress shop we parked next to, or the graffiti(ed) crosswalks dripping Mesoamerican imagery). I’ve already made plans to return this weekend to sample a tequila bar that caught my friends’ eye.
The Creative Alliance
In order to describe my reaction to the screening itself, I feel it necessary to consider the “space” offered by the Creative Alliance. As far as “spaces” go, the Creative Alliance surpassed what I expected. It served as much more than a typical movie theater. In the place of a typical ticket window there was a fold-up table manned by two women who sold not only tickets, but also complementary raffle tickets and playbills with an insert that served as a ballot so the audience could vote for their favorite film. Already, the space was one that was much more interactive than that of a typical movie theater. Furthermore, as opposed to a typical concessions stand, the Creative Alliance offered a café, and the tables and chairs that stood around it were occupied by not only the patrons of the event, but also the staff of the Creative Alliance and a few of the directors themselves.
The room of the screening followed this motif of “interactiveness.” The venue lacked the formality of the typical movie theaters I’ve been quick to offer as comparison. The chairs were temporary (moveable), and latecomers stood as the event proved more popular than seating allowed.
I have only attended one animated shorts screening prior to “Sweaty Eyeballs”: the collection of animated shorts considered by the Oscars that the Charles offeres every year (I went 2012, so this year.) I expected “Sweaty Eyeballs” to be more “artistic” (less accessible) and of a lower quality. I was surprised, as both the caliber and theme of the shorts I witnessed surpassed my expectations.