"Going troppo" read the subject line.
"Curious," thought I, in my mildly delusional state. I had, you see, spent the previous three days in bed, sick with a cold and fever.
As I opened the email from my editor, it was with enthusiasm I accepted his Film Festival challenge.
To spend a week at the movies, Monday to Friday, 11am to 11pm (or thereabouts), watching anything and everything on offer.
Like I said, I was mildly delusional. Looking back, perhaps I was insane. Either way, this is how Blonde at the Bar came to be Blonde at the Movies.
Firstly, I should say, fear not dear readers. I will be back to my random musings and contradictory statements next week.
But for now, it is all about movies - or more specifically - the 39th annual Auckland International Film Festival.
A week at the movies may seem like a pretty sweet gig (indeed - I'm not really complaining) but it has its definite downsides.
I am a notoriously fidgety soul and sitting still through five movies a day, at roughly two hours each, is going to test my patience - and my bum - to the limit.
Likewise, my mental sanity will be called into question and there are already sweepstakes running on how long I last (for the record, my money's on three-and-a-half days).
My immune system is also set to take a beating. As one colleague pointed out, a cinema in the middle of winter is a breeding ground for disease. I believe his exact words were "Hope you've had your flu shot". Awesome...
But perhaps the biggest downside to this assignment is the potential for disaster. Though I have chosen films that sound appealing, based on their 100 word write ups in the programme, there is every chance they could be atrocious.
It really is the great unknown.
Which brings us to why I am doing this in the first place - to help guide you through the minefield that is the Film Festival schedule and avoid any potential duds.
It is also a social experiment (motivated I suspect, by my editor's desire to get rid of me for a week) to see just what happens when you put someone in a dark room, for hours on end, with virtually no interaction with the outside world.
So let's get to it. My day starts with an interview with Gary Huswit, the man behind the obscure documentary, Helvetica - quite literally, a feature film about a font.
11am I Have Never Forgotten You
1.15pm Sherry Baby
3.30pm TV Junkie
8.30pm Audience of One
For more info on any of these films, check out the Festival website. And don't forget to check back throughout the day as I update you on all the festival goings-ons.