So here’s the thing. My original plan was to run out tonight, catch the first screening of Christopher Nolan’s newest work, “Interstellar,” collect my thoughts and calmly put down some words about the movie. However when I made these plans, I wasn’t expecting the film to be the full body spiritual gut punch experience that I just had (and am still kind of shaking from).
So, over the weekend I got to spend some time with E.L. Katz and Pat Healy, who respectively directed and starred in the new film “Cheap Thrills,” and I learned a thing or two. I learned about Danish people. I learned about what really matters when you’re making a movie. I found out that some men can just rock a mustache. And I learned that sometimes light and dark can blend together beautifully.
So, lately I’ve been trying to gain an understanding of avant-garde films, seeing that I know basically nothing about them. And in my meandering through these new experiences, I’ve developed a new analogy I guess—a new way of thinking about film, which I will now present for your consideration and entertainment, in honor of the upcoming holiday.
No one who has lived in the city of Madison would deny that we reside in a vibrant place, brimming with activities for students. Madison is home to restaurants featuring food from more countries than the average American is probably aware of, scenic lakes and parks, a state of the art arts center, a thriving farmer’s market and more indie bookstores and coffee shops than you can shake a scarf at.
I still vividly remember going to see “Super Bad” back in my senior year of high school with my friends who were kind enough to chauffeur me to an opening-night screening in the wake of my wisdom-teeth removal. For weeks leading up to the release, I must have watched the unrated “redband” trailer on YouTube over a dozen times and was bombarded with the abbreviated television-ad even more frequently. When I finally got to see the flick, I obviously laughed my ass off (the pain killers from my surgery the day before made sure of that). However, I couldn’t help but feel like I would have enjoyed the movie significantly more if I had gone into it without seeing its best jokes excerpted and played out of context, over and over. I knew what to expect. I was perpetually waiting for the punch lines and the memorable plot points I knew were coming, trying to place them into the narrative still unfolding.
Awards season for movie releases has come and gone, along with the Oscars themselves. After catching up on the last few intriguing winners that you’ve yet to see, there won’t be much left playing in the theaters with any real draw for awhile. We’ve officially entered that barren cinematic tundra that comes around at the start of every year, that miserable period of arctic chill after all the winter magic has come and gone, leaving us with nothing but dirty snow and foul movies.
Blockbuster, Hollywood Videos, and other such brick-and-mortar video rental providers have been closing up shop in droves across the country over the past few years, simply out-competed by newer, more convenient entertainment providers like Netflix and Redbox. But the transition from these fading entertainment elites to the new generation has gone anything but smoothly thanks to meddling movie studios.