Sunday, November 25, 2007

No anchorless groping disturbs the hand**

C and I are going to see No Country for Old Men this afternoon. In about an hour, actually. This is why I seem content to tool around shifting words online rather than getting into the meat of something or going back to my reading (Israel Chalfen's _Paul Celan: A Biography of His Youth_).

Part of me would like to compose a long post about this film, which I have not yet seen, based on what I have been told and what I have read elsewhere. While I like to hear what other people have to say about a film before I watch it myself, I refuse to read reviews before watching a film. After, when I can argue with the writer while I read, I will see what they have to say. But there is a kind of posturing that happens in film reviews that taints the film for me. It's like I sometimes analyze a film using the text of the review. The few times I have done this it has made me uncomfortable and taken me a little while to figure out why my enjoyment of the film was off.

Whether the film is actually *good* or *bad* means nothing to me about how I enjoy the film while watching. I like looking at attractive people on the screen. I like the ritual of the ticket counter, the popcorn counter. More than anything I like the feel of experiencing something with strangers in a darkened room. That said, I like to experience this something with no one sitting directly next to me (unless I've brought someone myself), in front of me or directly behind.

If someone sits directly behind I wonder if they're putting things in my hair. This fear, I'm sure, stems from my first movie date in junior high. I was an awkward child and people noticed this. I will even say they took it upon them to capitalize on it. Regardless, I came out of Rocky V with popcorn and whoknows whatelse in my hair. And though my date was kind, the relationship did not last out the month. I don't blame this on the popcorn so much as the roving hands.

I want to be one of the people who will sit in the semi-darkness before the previews begin with my feet on the chair in front of me. Somehow I grew out of this in my middle twenties. I should perhaps have grown out of it sooner, but as I've said, I'm very protective of a positive movie-going experience. Now when someone sits in front of me I simply move, if possible. When the theater is crowded I have to give myself over to a different kind of mentality to fully enjoy a film. Like dancing with the rabble in a crowded concert venue (which I do less and less), I stop playing us and them and imagine myself as less myself (the island) and more as one piece of the crowd.

Then there's the snackfood. Popcorn and M&Ms, mixed, the chocolate warm and soft within the shell, the popcorn becoming stained with the candy colors. And also contraband Diet Dr. Pepper.

In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing Javier Bardem. I have a slight crush on him. And the Coen brothers have only let me down once, though admittedly I have never seen Intolerable Cruelty or Ladykillers.

Regarding book reviews, I do read them, but never to the end unless I have already read the book myself. In these the posturing is less aggressive, less obnoxious, but often the writer of a review is self-involved enough to include too much of their own world I do not wish to know. Except for People magazine, which tells one nothing, but is nontheless not invasive.

**from Celan's Mother's Day poem, 1938

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

T'was a bit bloody, but not unecessarily so. Although I think in earlier years I would have found it too much. I don't know what this says about me. Perhaps that I'm as rough and insensitized to violence and the all-out war of every man for himself as the characters in the film. Perhaps not, as I do not and will never own a firearm.