' ' Cinema Romantico: The Summer Of '89

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Summer Of '89

In June of 1989 my mom dropped a couple of my friends and I off at the venerable Valley 3 for a showing of Tim Burton’s movie/publicity machine “Batman.” It was not a question of whether or not I’d like it. Of course, I was going to like it! How could I not like it?! I was eleven! Going to see a movie! On the big screen! With popcorn! Every movie I saw that summer, I loved!

I loved “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” and I loved “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” and I loved “Young Einstein” and, yes, I even loved “Ghostbusters II.” Sure, NOW I know that “Ghostbusters II” is awful, but what did you expect then? Editing? What’s editing? Don’t they film this all at the exact same time? Screenwriting? What’s screenwriting? Don’t the people just make up the words as they go along? Acting? What’s acting? Yahoo Serious ISN’T really Albert Einstein? What are you talking about?!

In a way, I miss those days, those days when just GOING to a movie was more than enough. Those days when the movie theater didn't feel as much as a respite or a synagogue as a wonderland, a dimly lit amusement park where the only ride you took was the one on the screen. It didn't matter so much HOW the ride was made - no, it just mattered that I was there taking it.

In another way, I don’t miss those days, those days when movies were, in essence, nothing more spectacular lights flickering on a screen in front of me. Those days when I had no real comprehension of a movie's inner-workings and what they were supposed to represent. And that's because - to paraphrase the esteemed Roger Ebert - the more clearly I can see their physical manifestation, the more stirred I am by their mystery.

Tomorrow, of course, “The Dark Knight Rises”, the third part in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy, hits theaters. The hype is deafening, much like it was for Timmy B.’s take in ’89. Some will immediately declare it to be the greatest movie ever made and some will immediately declare it to be disappointing in the wake of their 96 ounce blue ox steak expectations.

I wish I could already know I was going to like it. But, of course, I don't. It doesn't work like that anymore. The movie will unfold. I will critique it. I will form thoughts. You will form thoughts. We will all form thoughts and then we will debate and contemplate further and no doubt the pot will be stirred many times over. It will be fun. I love these moments out here in the blogosphere when we all see the same movie at the same time and go off on it. I can't wait for it to happen.

I just hope that for the two hours and forty-five minutes I'm actually watching the movie, I don't think about anything I just wrote.


Andrew K. said...

Sorry, I still don't believe you're 13 years older than me. You're too buoyant.

Nick Prigge said...

Here's to hoping - TRULY, DESPERATELY hoping - I never lose that buoyancy. I don't think I'd be the same person without it.

Arthur Canning said...

Oh that crazy summer.
Nice piece, man - Thanks.