While writing comments on Cinema Sightlines the other day, I remembered a dreadful moviegoing experience only a year ago.
Unbeknownst to me, residing in Hollywood for almost 2 years at the time, I had been living in a bubble. Going out drinking at the local bars, eating at hole in the wall restaurants, visiting ArcLight and the Sunset 5 for an evening flick; I really never would bump into children. Surely on my evening jog to the gym down Sunset Boulevard, the families walking hand in hand were nowhere to be seen.
I was going to the El Capitan on opening night to see the film, “Cars,” when I got quite a rude awakening. As soon as I entered the auditorium, I was greeted with crying babies and toddlers throwing popcorn on the floor. The start of the movie didn’t make it any quieter and for the next two hours I heard as much soda slurping as I did Owen Wilson and Paul Newman. It felt like it had been ages since I’d even been inside a theater with someone not allowed to see R-rated picture, much less 1,000 people under the age of seven.
Needless to say, I’ve chosen each animated film I’ve seen since wisely and it sure got me thinking twice about ever having children. I know. I’m going through this selfish 20’s phase where it’s just all about me. But wouldn’t I be doing a disservice to myself if I ever lower my moviegoing standards? Plus, I don’t want to go to all those mediocre kids flicks. Unless it’s Pixar, count me out.
Then there’s another side of me, that’s a bit more sympathetic. A few months ago, I loaned a friend my copy of “Double Indemnity.” Of course, she loved it. It got me thinking about how amazing it would be to see it again for the first time. Now that really would be something.
I think about all the great movie memories I have of discovering my favorite films and subsequently reviewing them over and over again. I want to share that with someone else. Even if the person is already pretty schooled, you can always turn them onto some lesser-known geniuses like Samuel Fuller or Powell & Pressburger.
Sharing films is something I find really rewarding. A lot of times, it blows up in your face and you totally don’t account for your friend’s taste. Then there’s a discussion. Then there’s an argument. Then you don’t talk for a few days. (Not that that’s ever happened to me!) But when you hit it right and total connect with someone, that’s special.
So maybe I’ll lighten up one day. The prospect of sharing all my favorite films one day with children might prove to be all too tempting. This weekend though, I’ll be going to a slightly later show at the El Capitan for “Ratatouille,” hoping for a more peaceful audience.
(Thanks to djwhelan for providing the photo.
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