With no winter storms to hide behind this week, I returned to Cinema 3 for the last installment of my year-long experiment. Not surprisingly during this festive season, the movie was still a rerun (The Day The Earth Stood Still) and the ‘plex was jammed with people lining up to see whatever they could. It reminded me of a year ago, when I got the idea for this blog. At least tonight and at other times this year, I had company; thanks to Anthony, Kristi, Keith, Scott T., Matt, Chris, Sarah, Leslie, Nicole, Jay, Lisa M., and everyone else who came out to ride shotgun.
You might naturally expect at this point that I would sum up the year with a few heartwarming lines explaining what I’ve learned from spending my Sunday nights in Cinema 3: about the movies, about myself, about life. But hey, I’m a zen practitioner too; the movies are me, and you, and life.
Whether you’re a Buddhist monk or a movie critic, you spend most of your time sitting on your ass, watching the story play out in front of you. What does it signify, in the end? Am I better for having seen The Bucket List and Rachel Getting Married? Am I worse for enduring 10,000 BC and The Strangers? Was this blog worth over 4 solid days of my life and $500 in movie tickets?
I think so, yes. How often do we really remember seeing a particular movie? I have seen hundreds of movies in the theatre and probably thousands in total, but I can count the number of truly memorable moviegoing experiences on my fingers. Like another winter night a few years ago, deciding on a whim to sit in the centre of a grand old movie house, transported by the imagery and amazing sound of a film that most people never saw and probably never will. How often do we feel that conjunction of time, place, and story? Is there a nirvana, an enlightenment to strive for, by going to the movies the way some might go to church?
Absolutely. And a hell too, where What Happens in Vegas plays on every screen. And just like karma, these are beds that we make for ourselves, wherever we are in the distribution chain: writing, acting, directing, producing, distributing, exhibiting, viewing, reviewing. We read Rotten Tomatoes and we watch Access Hollywood and we go to the Big Event Pictures and we think we understand about the movies. We’re led to believe that if we go see the #1 box office champ every weekend, we’ll be winners too.
I guess that’s what made me want to write this blog. The machine that produces so much arbitrary and pointless filler like One Missed Call is not your friend. It doesn’t care if you are transported to a better place by the movies; it just wants your $10.99 on opening weekend. Your time and your life are valuable. You deserve better than to be the afterthought at the end of the supply chain.
That probably sounds strange coming from a guy who has watched Megaforce about a dozen times; but there it is. Obviously I am not like most people. Out of all of those hundreds of movies over the years, I can remember walking out of only one- the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre starring Jessica Biel. I’m not trying to brag; if anything, it’s probably a sign of low self-esteem that I haven’t walked out of more.
If some of the movies I saw this year in Cinema 3 wasted your life or your money, I hope that this blog helped tip the balance back in your favour a little. Thanks for reading it. If you want to continue reading my film reviews and other ramblings, I hope you will check out my ongoing personal blog at www.potzrebie.com. Until then, happy new year.