I am an enthusiastic cinema fan. As soon as there is a proposition to go to the cinema, I am out of the door. In my excitement I have been known to hush the people in the back, while still standing in line to get tickets. Except for two genres, I love all types of films. The atmosphere of the cinema, the crowds, the anticipation of the showing are all entertaining to me. Now the intention of one going to the cinema is, of course to attend the projection of the film, but I often find that it is not always the film in itself that makes the occasion memorable. Sometimes, it is an incident or a person's actions during the show which leaves an indelible recording on my mind.
The two types of films I refuse to see are horror films and pornographic ones. The reasoning behind that is, for the former, I have been petrified with fear from real life experiences to hold no truck with “Jason versus Freddie” nonsense and with the latter, I deem it unnecessary to watch actors half-heartedly perform when I can participate in the same activity and enjoy it ten-fold for free in the privacy of my own home.
The making or breaking of a positive cinema experience can be determined by whom one is sitting near. Troy was pretty much ruined for me because I happened to sit next to a literature teacher who commented unfavorably on its historical accuracy during the entire performance. I consoled myself by staring at Ulysses, as I tend to favor men with big noses. On the other hand, in late adolescence I was introduced to the Rocky Horror Picture Show . The entire theatre was participating; reenacting, throwing things, screaming comments, singing songs, lighting lighters. Somehow the noise didn't upset me at all, although it did take several viewings to get that “pelvic thrust” just right.
Sometimes, great truths are revealed at the cinema. Many years ago, while watching a James Bond film, I noticed a man “doing something to himself”. At the time, my childish vocabulary didn't include the word “masturbation”, but I had two immediate revelations; one was the understanding of what “a dirty old man in a trench coat” was, heretofore a nebulous albeit distasteful term for me. The second illumination was the intrinsic superiority of women; no woman, I was convinced, could ever do anything so squalid.
Films in themselves have made big impressions on my life. Sayings such as “after all tomorrow is another day” and “as God as my witness, I shall never go hungry again” (GWTW 1939) have been incorporated into my philosophy. Because of what a Health Inspector played by Donald Sutherland found in a chef's cooking pot, I haven't wittingly eaten a caper since the late 1970's (Invasion of the Body Snatchers).
So although my days of dancing the Time Warp in the cinema have been over for almost three decades, my enthusiasm of going to the cinema hasn't died. Forrest Gump says about life and the box of chocolates, “you don't know what you get until you bite into one”; it is just as true for the cinema. Thus my continual return to the box office; I like them all, except for the “mon cherie” ones.
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