Before we could all sink our teeth into yesterday's SFS offering The Story of the Weeping Camel, there was the small matter of the SFS Annual General Meeting. Kenneth -- SFS President, sci-fi aficionado, die-cast toy collector -- gave an explanation of the budget and expenses. Then he nominated a list of committee members for the 2004/05 year. No-one objected, and voila! Welcome to the new Committee, which isn't very different from the old Committee at all.
To an outsider, this process probably isn't "democratic". However no-one doubts the experience and expertise of the existing members and the fruits of their efforts are very much visible and tangible. Why mess with a winning formula? Moreover, they are all volunteers. Sure, they get free movie tickets and priority invites to events that the SFS co-organises, but for working adults the time committment involved is significant. After all, time outside the office suddenly takes on additional value that wasn't there before becoming a cubicle slave. To spend so much of that time on film (which is a distinctly individual, intangible, even unproductive-in-a-material-sense experience) implies a love for the art enough to dispel any doubts as to the sincerity of the Committee Members.
Now, governance of a city or country bears very little relation to running a film appreciation society built on the backs of volunteers and member contributions. It stands to reason then, that the methods of electing national leaders should not be the same.
But I've digressed. This was initially supposed to be a post about the admiration I have for the SFS Commmittee Members. During the AGM Kenneth reminisced about some of the Committee members, providing us glimpses into the lengths they have gone to for love of film. I want to be able to lose myself in something like those people seem to have, but I don't know why I never could and still can't.
btw, The Story of the Weeping Camel is straightforward and unpretentious. Very interesting in that it provides an intimate glimpse into the life of a Mongolian family in the Gobi Desert.