' ' Cinema Romantico: Testify

Friday, July 24, 2009


The sportswriter extraordinare Joe Posnanski began a recent post on his own blog with words that very nearly moved me to tears in my cubicle. They are words I have spoken myself, albeit in a different sort of variation, words beautiful beyond compare, words that summarize how I too feel when I go to the movies, how it's not really going to the movies but going to church (my own personal church). It makes me think of how annoyed I get when a person at a movie says "Why did (they) do that?" or something of the sort and I just want to scream at them "WATCH THE REST OF THE MOVIE AND YOU'LL FIND OUT!!!" It makes me think of how sad I was when I left Cameron Crowe's "Vanilla Sky" (which was right after the double-shot of extreme awesomeness of "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" and "Vanilla Sky" was just a tragic letdown) and I just wanted to spend a little time in a quiet depression and my girlfriend at the time asked the instant we stepped out of the theater "What did you think?" and how that comment made me want to just ditch her at the theater and go have a beer. It makes me think about seeing "The Merry Gentleman" earlier this year and how sad I was when it ended because it was sooooo good and how I never wanted it to end and how I ended up walking home, all the way from Diversey, because I just needed some time to myself to try and recover. It makes me think about how sitting in the theater after "Atonement" ended, re-realizing I was in a movie theater and trying to come to grips with my mentally drained, weakened state, sitting through every last closing credit, is one of my Top 10 Favorite Moments in my 4-plus years in Chicago and how that probably makes no sense to anyone else and how I don't care whether or not it does.

Anyway, I love Joe Posnanski. I bow down to him. I just really, really, really hope I can still love movies as much as I do now when I get older. The following (from an article that was primarily about golfer Tom Watson at the British Open last weekend) are his words:

"I used to love movies. Sure, I still like movies, but as a child, as a teenager, as a young man, I used to love them in a whole other way. A good movie, for me, was like entering another dimension or a state of hypnosis or something … and it’s almost never like that now. Time had different rules at the movies back then — a good movie would last 49 seconds, a boring scene might go on for four days. I could lose track of where I was, who was with me, what I had still to do. There was so many emotions, some which had nothing at all to do with the movie itself. I can remember the bitter dread I would feel when I realized that a movie I loved was coming close to the end. I can remember the awful harshness of blinding glare as I would walk out of the theater.

More than anything, I remember the sad instant the movie ended. The credits began to roll, and I would think, 'No, the movie isn’t over. The movie can’t be over.' And all the people around would get up, move toward the exits, rushing to beat traffic or something … you could hear their shoes stepping on popcorn and squeaking on the dried glop of Coca Cola and Raisinets. And more, much more, you could hear their instant reviews. 'I hated that — hated it' 'I thought the couple had no chemistry!' 'I didn’t realize it would be that violent.' 'I really liked that part in the park.'

Damn, I hated that. I can remember going on dates when she would ask me, the second the movie ended, 'So what did you think of that?' … and I could never explain to her why that was like stabbing me. 'Just wait until we get back to the car,' I would mutter, with probably an edge in my voice, and she would look at me like I was a crazy person, which I probably was. But I could not help it. I couldn’t talk the moment a movie ended. I couldn’t listen the moment a movie ended. I wanted — I NEEDED — a few minutes of silence, a few minutes to gather myself, to consider the ending of this dark little world I had lived in for an hour and a half or two hours, to brace myself for re-entry. I needed a few minutes to come to grips with the reality that the movie was over and life, which had been on pause, was playing again."

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