We got some drinks in and sat chatting and laughing about recent events and were having a good time chatting and writting random thoughts on pieces of paper that then got hung on a big wall. It wasn't long before the room had filled and every seat around every table was taken. The whole thing was building up to be something quite good.
The quiz begun with an entusiastic host, it was quite professionally done and there was even a giant screen used to play some clips of movies and picture rounds. It certainly looked the part.
The majority of people in the room looked to be students and older, it didn't attract a very diverse crowd but it seemed an enthusiastic one. Everything was in place.
And then the questions started....
What a load of pretentious over-specific, fun-ruining waffle.
You expect some tricky questions, after all its the 'Artsy' home of film in Belfast. But for the love of whatever you believe in! It left 3/4 of the room looking at the 1/4 who only had a slight inkling with a perplexed glaze.
The opening statement was that they expected no one to get 2/3's of the 90 questions right. One team scraped the 60 and they were the ones who won and no one came close to them. The rest of us who didn't look to have a degree in motion picture studies or cinematography media or some such, it was a rarity to find something to be able even to guess on, though we gave it our best try anyway.
I don't think they got the point with a quiz that its easy to ask questions people are very unlikely to know the answer to - about any subject! Surely the idea with a quiz is to facilitate people having a good time, providing questions people will search their brain for and have to pick between 4 answers only to find you picked the wrong one and it was your gut feeling that was right after all. That is the fun of a quiz for me. The questions of the event we attended more closely resembled an exam in subjects no one could be expected to revise in.
The most fun round for me was probably the 'guess the bad review round'. In that round the most recent question was about a movie only a mild 24 years old. Another good round was the movie clip round as at least you got to watch a movie and though some were obscure, they were all at least from the last decade.
As for the worst round and the one saved for last... anyone an expert in Sweedish cinema?
You might think this is a bit harsh, that we should have expected to be paying to play a quiz that was aimed towards a neiche of cinema goers when its a film festival and an event at the QFT. That a lot of the questions would be obscure. Well that probably would be the case if it wasn't for the advert on the Belfast Film Festival website that was slightly misleading before we went - especially as they advertised:
"Rounds will include our psychic cinema props round ‘Can You Read My Mind?’ and the Cryptic pajama photo round ‘Lady in Bed’, where you have to identify the actresses under the covers."
Neither of these fun sounding rounds (that at least we could have guessed at) materialised on the night. Instead we had 'name the obscure pre 1980's of a director in a photo' and 'Can you read my mind without any props because that's the only way anyone in the room will get the answer' rounds.
Still I think I'll give it a miss next year, once was enough for me. I prefer coming last at the Crusaders Social Club's quiz on a Thursday night, where failing to answer those questions are also part of the fun :)
Next up for our film festival experience: Lake Placid... on a boat, in the dark!