' ' Cinema Romantico: Best Times to Watch a Movie

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Best Times to Watch a Movie

Friend of the Blog (who doesn’t know he’s a Friend of the Blog) Charlie Pierce recently Tweeted out a ranking of his favorite beers. Not beers as in brands, mind you, but as in the best circumstances in which to drink a beer. His list quote-tweeted the list of a sportswriter that seemed connected to a Tweet by another sportswriter which seemed to have been spurred by a Tweet from someone else and, frankly, I didn’t have the energy to go sleuthing for the headwaters of this particular Twitter game. I wasn’t even that interested in the Twitter game as presented. No, I was more interested in modifying the Twitter game for Cinema Romantico’s purposes. Because once I started thinking of the Best Beer – Apéro Hour, the best beer is always at Apéro Hour – it took only a few seconds for my cinema-addled mind to reframe the list as Best Movie, as in, what’s the best time to watch a movie?

5 Best Times to Watch a Movie

5. Morning. Late last year Madeleine Aggeler wrote a piece for The Cut arguing that morning is the best time to see a movie. She was referring to a 9:10 AM showtime in the article, which I do not doubt makes for an empty auditorium paradise, but which is still a bit too early for me even if I am a morning person; I prefer a nice, solid 11:30 AM showtime. That still leaves you, as Aggeler notes, the rest of your day, which is an A+ feeling, a whole day to go even though you have already watched a movie, like everything from here on out is just biscuits & gravy. But I want to amend a morning movie to include a home morning viewing too. Because life doesn’t get much better than something you recorded off TCM on your DVR and a couple cups of good coffee.

4. Film Festival. A film festival is like Christmas in so much as it brings people together for a similar purpose, gathered before the silver screen like so many children gathered before a Christmas tree, anticipating what’s about to screen like a present about to be opened, wondering what this gift might yield. That’s Pollyanna-ish, perhaps, but film festivals are a place to indulge your inner-Pollyanna, even if it yields exaggerated, over-emotional insta-reactions, like setting a Track & Field record at altitude, which are a-okay given the inflated circumstances so long as you acknowledge said circumstances and rein in those euphoric tweets. Enjoy your gift-opening in private, please.

3. Random Weeknight. Weeks can be long even as they move fast, a paradoxical sensation that can, as early as Monday night, leave one feeling burned out. Which is why a trip to the movie theater whatever weeknight might be ailing you most is as good as sipping restorative waters from some desert oasis, like when I decided one particularly brutal Thursday last year to go see Keira on the big screen one, a movie ticket as salvation.

2. Holiday Evening. In a commentary for NPR over decade ago that has nevertheless never left my mind, Marc Acito spoke of his family’s tradition for going to the movies on Christmas, explaining that “Long before the birth of Jesus, civilizations celebrated the winter solstice by burning fires to urge the sun to return. The practice continues today, as we brighten the darkest nights of the year with holiday lights. So is it really so strange that we gather together to watch a screen flooded with flickering light?” That, it likely goes without saying, is the kind of belief system I can embrace, and one that extends beyond Christmas to other holidays, like 4th of July. Let everyone else have fireworks; I’ll take the flickering lights.

1. Friday Matinee. Though Friday night is a good time to watch a movie too, particularly if it doubles as opening night for something big or just something you, individual viewer, are really aching to see, it is nevertheless comparable to a Friday afternoon showtime in the way that a night game at Wrigley Field is comparable to a day game at Wrigley Field; that is, there really is no comparison at all. That’s because the day game experience at Wrigley Field, even if you have officially taken time off from the office, still evokes the air of getting away with something, cemented in pop culture lore by Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron, being where you want to be rather than where you’re supposed to be, as if the world is running on your clock instead of you on its, and is why even if you see a bad movie at a Friday matinee is not automatically disqualified from being bad, because that’s not how it works, but still less a waste of time than a transient cinematic summer breeze wafting through.

1 comment:

Alex Withrow said...

I love this, and I couldn't agree more about your picks. I recently saw Godzilla: King of Monsters at 9:45 am on a Friday, and I had a blast. Walked out and had my whole day ahead of me. GREAT idea for a list!