With the perennially popular Savannah Film Festival set to open Oct. 26, area cinema enthusiasts are probably starting to get nervous jitters right about now.
However, for those who just can't wait till then (or who were not fortunate enough to get tickets to the coveted evening screenings at that deservedly celebrated eight-day event), there's plenty of alternative movie activity to take in over the next few days.
It's also worth noting there are often several handfuls of ticketholders who don't show up at the SFF's sold-out features for one reason or another, and a little-known fact is that a small line of the hopeful starts quietly forming near the Trustees Theater box office a couple of hours before showtime each night of the festival.
Any seats that become available at the last minute are offered to these stalwarts on a first-come, first-served basis for face value just moments before the films begin.
So, if the weather's nice and you have some time to kill, make the scene and you just might wind up very lucky.
Now, for those interested in the smaller and more niche-oriented offerings that can be found on the (somewhat) big screen in advance of that gala showcase, my suggestion is you turn your attention to The Sentient Bean on Forsyth Park, one of the true hubs of our local alternative cinema community.
Its cozy digs are the location of four vastly different film events over the next week.
If you've never been to a film at The Bean before, here's a primer: award-winning vegetarian food is available (everything from sandwiches, soups and salads to quesadillas and stuffed baked potatoes - not to mention all manner of cakes, cookies, breads and pies), along with hot and cold drinks, juices, smoothies and a small, esoteric selection of adult beverages.
Much of the food is organic and locally sourced, the coffees and teas are certified fair-trade, and the beers and wines are from small craft breweries and organic vineyards.
The chairs, however, are not traditional theater seats, and some may find them a bit stiff and unforgiving, so feel free to BYOP (bring your own pillow).
On Oct. 24, local non-partisan civic activist group Occupy Savannah will screen director Kristin Canty's 2011 documentary "Farmageddon."
The story of a mother whose son found relief from debilitating allergies and asthma after his diet was modified to include "raw" milk and organic, non-processed food direct from farms, it's meant as an expose on the health risks of overly processed and modified foods - and the unethical legal hurdles big agribusiness helps enact to prevent U.S. citizens from accessing such natural foodstuffs through member-owned co-ops and private buying clubs.
While this low-budget indie film has received generally high marks from like-minded viewers, many critics have found it shrill and one-sided.
So, if you're cool with motivational documentaries which proudly wear their bias on their sleeves yet feature plenty of worthwhile information, "Farmageddon" may be for you. Showtime is 7 p.m. and admission is free.
On Oct. 26, the Georgia Conservancy's "ecoMovie Series" continues with the family-oriented feature "Hoot."
Produced by famed singer-songwriter and mystery novelist Jimmy Buffet, this PG film is based on a novel by noted Florida author Carl Hiaasen and deals with a teenager who moves from Montana to Florida, where he finds himself drawn to stand up and fight to protect a small population of endangered owls when a greedy developer wants to destroy their habitat to build a pancake house.
I mean, I love pancakes, but come on, man!
It was nominated for the Best Feature Film of 2006 by the USA Environmental Media Awards and stars Luke Wilson ("Idiocracy," "Masked and Anonymous," "The Royal Tenenbaums"), Tim Blake Nelson ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?" "Lincoln") and Clark Gregg ("State and Main," "The Avengers").
Showtime is 6 p.m. with admission only $3 for adults and $2 for kids.
For that night only, there will be hot apple cider and organic popcorn paired with Savannah Bee Co. honey available.
Then on Oct. 27, the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah hosts a special memorial tribute to the late, great actor and gourmand Vincent Price.
Price (who died Oct. 25, 1993) is a towering legend of horror and suspense cinema who starred in such gems as "The Fly," "House on Haunted Hill," "The Tingler," "The Last Man on Earth" and "Edward Scissorhands."
The exact title of this particular film will not be revealed in advance, but it's one of Price's all-time greatest roles and a bona fide cult classic.
Showtime is 8 p.m. and admission is $6 for mature audiences.
And finally, the PFS concludes its month-long series of obscure and underappreciated horror films with an incredibly rare presentation of the forgotten 1958 treasure "I Bury The Living" on Oct. 30.
This creepy and provocative B&W thriller concerns a man who comes to believe he is somehow inadvertently channeling sinister forces that cause the untimely deaths of a number of people.
Has he unwittingly tapped into some malevolent, occult power, or is he mistaken and merely going insane? This is an unusually compelling and original horror film that has never gotten the attention it deserves and is well worth a look. 8 p.m. showtime, $6 admission.
See you at the movies, and don't forget to turn off that cellphone.
Jim Reed directs the award-winning Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah - presenting indie, foreign, classic and cult cinema year-round. Read more from Jim on Savannah's film scene at filmsavannah.com.