Like many others, I was in high school when I first read "The Great Gatsby." Jay Gatsby was unlike anyone I had ever met in my life, and my obsession looked past his wealth. He was a hopeless romantic, and it in turn made me fall hopelessly in love with him. I have since continued my obsession with the fictional dreamer, and when Leonardo DiCaprio brought F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic character to life this past summer on the big screen, it was like being introduced to Gatsby all over again.
Friday, Alaska residents will get to meet Leo's Gatsby in an intimate setting at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in downtown Talkeetna on Friday, starting at 7 p.m. Stop by and watch Gatsby's love for Daisy and the American Dream unravel on the big screen.
But if you're less about watching movies and more about making them, head to Anchorage. The 48-Hour Film Festival goes all weekend long. The brave souls participating will either crumble or flourish under the pressure of writing, filming and editing a short film based on a series of prompts at the event kickoff, all in the span of just 48 hours. The results can be intriguing, but the films themselves won't go on public display until Oct. 10.
Also on the technical front, Fairbanks' very first computer hackathon all this weekend, beginning at 10 p.m. Friday. The event is a chance for computer programmers, developers, designers, engineers, coders and other tech-savvy creative types to come together and create something technological.
As sad as it may be, October is already here and winter is right around the corner, but on the positive side, another month means another First Friday. As usual, there are more than enough events to occupy your Friday night. I may be a little bit biased, as I have spent my entire life in Anchorage, but I cannot wait to check out First Friday in Spenard. The quirky, historically separate city that Anchorage grew around has many unique features, including the Hell's Angels clubhouse, so it's fitting that the neighborhood art show be held at the House of Harley-Davidson. In Juneau, be sure to check out This Hour Forward. Alaskan artist Ryan Conarro will be mixing photography, sound and live performance to explore the true meaning of identity. For a long set of other First Friday events, head to the calendar.
Finally, I've saved the best for last. It's time for Alaska to celebrate Oktoberfest. We may be celebrating in the wrong month -- in Germany, it is celebrated in September -- but at least we're celebrating. Alyeska will be hosting its annual celebration in Girdwood all weekend long.