Sunday, May 11, 2008

NY Event Number Seven: Going to an art house and seeing a movie.

Maybe this doesn't really count as an event, seeing as how I do this sort of thing all the time. An exchange I had on my way to the first movie of my w/e of art house cinema with my friend Jake emphasizes this:

JAKE:
Where are you going?

LEA:
To go see a movie.

JAKE:
What movie?

LEA:
Pierrot Le Fou. They're having a Godard retrospective at the Film Forum. It's my favorite.

JAKE:
Who are you going with?

LEA:
...No one...

JAKE:
...That's just like you, isn't it? That's just like a "you" thing to do.


Is it? Am I that predictable? I suppose so. In any case, I caught Pierrot Le Fou on Saturday night, and A Last Tango in Paris on Sunday night. Both movies are pretty angsty, and were therefore appropriate to the mood I'm in lately, brought about by the HUGE LIFE CHANGE that's looming in the air. I had seen both before, but usually if something I've liked is out in a theatre somewhere I'll try to catch it on the big screen, to see how it was supposed to be really experienced. (For the record, if The Maltese Falcon is playing anywhere remotely accessible to me within a 50-70 mile radius, I always go. ALWAYS.)

The Film Forum is one of the few art houses I've been to in the city, the others being the Paris, the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, the Walter Reade Theatre, and the Angelika. (The last is a nice addition to my walking tour: "This is where I saw my first foreign language film.") Going to art house movie theaters is something I started to do as much as I could when I was younger once I had a car and could get out to cities that boasted such places (Flemington, New Jersey, despite all its wonderful shopping outlets, has never been a mecca for international entertainment.). My favorite has always been the County in Doylestown, PA, which made those kind of films accessible in a way that was unique to where I grew up. In suburbia, a person interested in film's best friend is their Blockbuster or Netflix account. But getting a chance to see classic and foreign films in their true element was such a treat, and such a learning experience--you get so much more of an idea of the picture the filmmaker is constructing when you can see it laid out like that. (It also makes you feel artsy-fartsy in an otherwise sterile environment, and any excuse to feel a little more cultured and a little more pretentious is usually welcome, let's be honest.) I'm happy the city has afforded me the opportunity to catch more of this sort of thing, from filmmakers you can't necessarily come across in your local suburban mall. And it introduced me to one of my favorite quotations, from such a filmmaker:

"I left the ending ambiguous, because that is the way life is."--Bernardo Bertolucci

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