How to watch a movie

When I was a kid, my parents used to have some pretty epic fights.  There was some yelling, some stuff got thrown, and I used to spend a fair amount of time wondering who I would live with if they got a divorce (Mommy, because she needed me more, but Daddy if I really got my choice).  When my mom got really mad, she would leave the house in a huff, often with one of the kids in tow.  I think I got chosen a fair number of times because I was a kid who didn’t like to make waves.  If I was included in such a maternal runaway, it usually meant something to eat and quite possibly a movie.

My mom loved movies, and I think I can understand her more now in reference to many of the movies she liked from the 40s and 50s–the feisty heroines, the handsome heroes. But the way she watched movies was a bit unusual.  She liked to start watching the movie at whatever point it happened to be playing–if she went at 3:45 and the movie had started at 3:00–no problem.  We would just watch anyway, wait until it started again, and leave when it got to the part where we came in. Personally, I think this gave me a great amount of tolerance for ambiguity.  If I don’t understand something, it doesn’t matter; I figure if I wait long enough it will probably make sense. I don’t have any problem with someone “spoiling” a movie by telling me its plot–the plot is secondary to me, anyway.  I like the visuals, the relationships, and the dialog.

Even now I don’t mind starting a movie in the middle. It makes me feel nostalgic.

I watched the Academy Awards last night, and I’d only seen two of the Best Picture nominees–Hell or High Water and Hidden Figures (both of which are excellent, by the way.) I was up way too late by the time they announced that La La Land had won, so I quickly turned off the tv and went to bed.  Waking up to find out the winner was actually Moonlight was a bit surreal. What I want to do now is find a movie theater that will let me go in to Moonlight when it has been going about 25 minutes, watch it until the end, and then stay and watch the beginning.  I would get some popcorn, a coke, and some malted milk balls and think about my complicated wonderful mother.

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