At the movies, I have to remind myself to be calm, to take a breath and let go as the courtesy bulbs pop and the exit signs come up after another bad movie. I sit there locked in silence, teeth too tight against one another, eyes darting through the credit scroll looking for the one person I know or knew from film school, the imagined and the imaginary, someone I can say hey – what’s up with that? I imagine myself stopping at the concession stand before the octagon where kids and the usual wandering elder work in huddled indifference, tired of pushing brooms through other people’s entertainment aftermath, and ask for my money back. Sometimes it matters but mostly it doesn’t, it’s strangers passing one another to and from Los Angeles‘ hopscotch tosses, the failed elevator pitch before the next elbow room dueling match with the movie execs’ exec too busy to look up from their stupor of movie script sameitude. And that’s when I realize it’s happened again, I let my trusty guards down as soon as the fade in – that I’ve drowned in possibility at another lost chance at greatness that’s not even close to pretty goodness. I gather my thoughts and my wits about me, piece together what went right then predictably wrong, how much seemed so OK until it wasn’t or ever isn’t. But I have to get to the car first, I have to stand and shake off my popcorn kernels and the popcorn kernels of others that have formed a bib of tiny indentations in my clothes and on my arms and pant legs. I stand too quickly again, and wobble like others off kilter on squeaky tennis shoes, popcorn buckets and soda cup rockets toppling over, gurgling, elbows batting one another nestled together in our blameless orgy of contemptible escapism.
It’s only after the second battery of clear-the-way-for-the-next-unsuspecting-movie-theater-patron-lights come on that I really feel the air of disappointment, the sting and then the weight of critical reasoning coming back on strong after having been engulfed in hopeful romanticism – stymied, again by our gullible love of movie escapism.
- Commentary on Movies, History and Perspective (rorydean.wordpress.com)
- Historic movie theater escapes the end of an era (ktvb.com)
- Five things we’ve learned from a record year at Cineplex (theglobeandmail.com)