Monday, August 27, 2018

In which I go to the movies.

I don't like gore.

I don't like torture.

Or brutal fights.

I don't even like cursing on screen.

I'm old-fashioned in my tastes.

All that to say, before this weekend, I hadn't been to the movies since my younger daughter fairly dragged me to see the vaunted (but hugely disappointing) La La Land. (See "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" or "The Young Girls of Rochefort," both by Jaques Demy if you want something of this ilk.)

But this weekend, my wife dragged me to see Spike Lee's new joint: BlacKKKlansman.

We had seen Lee in conversation with Times' columnist Charles Blow at the Times Center two weeks earlier, and both Lee and Blow did a good job promoting the film. 

I knew I had to see it, and I wasn't disappointed.

Still, it will be hard to get me out to the movies again.

First off, the theatre itself, in one of New York's poshest neighborhoods was as ambient as a roach motel. Dirty, malodorous and sticky.

Second, we were besieged by asinine commercials before the show, mostly featuring winsome young things swaying back and forth and talking about downloading apps so you can get points to see more movies.

Then, the trailers came on.

Loud, violent, ugly and bombastic.

So far from anything I would potentially watch as to be ludicrous.

I guess here I am showing my age. I feel estranged from (and superior to) today's culture. Listening to this weekend's remembrances of John McCain and Leonard Bernstein only accentuated those feelings.

We, as a nation, are the sort that elects a dangerous know-nothing like Trump either because we are ignorant of our past, unwilling to learn of our present, or simply too lazy to vote.

I don't blame that on the movies, of course. They aren't really shaping our culture as much as they're shaped by it.

But I can't help but thinking it will be a good long time before I head out to the movies again.

And I don't think I'm missing anything.

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