Sunday, October 12, 2008

The movie-going experience

Given the ratio, movie tickets: TA stipend, movie-going ought to be a luxury I appreciate. As I ease into middle age, movies do start to seem more appealing than new bars on the Lower East Side or newly hipsterized neighborhoods in Brooklyn, especially when these neighborhoods are ones I lived in three years ago, before it was cool, and back when I was a bit more so.

But, confession: I don't like going to the movies. OK, I like going to the movies, but I find the movie-going experience horribly unpleasant.

Above all, this is about an aversion to the smell of artificial butter. I have no principled objection to artificial food, but something about this smell makes me feel ill; dinner and a movie for me requires a waiting period post-movie to get the smell out of my head.

Almost up there with the popcorn issue is that of cost. If a movie ticket is $11 or $12, I try to force myself to like whatever's onscreen as much as I'd like two falafel sandwiches, one pair of semi-cheap sunglasses, or 11 or 12 booksale books. In other words, I'm easily disappointed. Fridays at MOMA, where the movies are free and no food is served, are basically my only option. Tragic? No, but inconvenient.

Next is the fact that a big screen doesn't quite make up for the sheer proximity to other people, something I already get enough of in overcrowded NYC (and at overcrowded NYU--try finding a seat at the library). Last night at the movies, a woman sitting in front of us got out of her seat... and her low-rise pants did not join her. She was not wearing anything under said pants, bringing an otherwise R-rated movie to the X-range.

While being a matter of inches from a stranger's bare behind is an admittedly unusual experience when attending a mainstream film screening, disgusting habits and foul-smelling concession-stand choices, popcorn and otherwise, abound. But the worst of it, last night, was that we ended up sitting at a very odd angle to the screen. This, combined with the artsy cinematography, led me to briefly leave the theater midway through. (Perhaps I missed the one moment when a black character was given importance to the plot, although Jo assures me this was not the case.) In the BAM lobby, I encountered a crowd of women who'd also had to leave because the movie was, quite literally, making them nauseated. I was not alone, but that was not enough to make the seasickness go away. Whether it was the popcorn, the nudity, or the angle, it's possible that the strengths of "Rachel Getting Married" were unfairly ignored in my previous post.


Nick said...

we are not "eas[ing] into middle age" damn you! not approaching middle age!! noooooooo!

Anonymous said...

"As I ease into middle age"

Ease? It seems you've been a grumpy old person trapped in a young person's body since you were twelve, no?


And forgive me if I think your unpleasant moviegoing experience has something to do with your choice of movies. God invented cable TV precisely so people could watch Rachel Getting Married in the comfort of their apartments a year after it was released.

Why on Earth would you choose that movie, especially given that you 'ate 'ippies? You live in NYC and speak French, so Tell No One would have made a certain amount of sense. And given your love for dogs that have a place in Chinese cuisine, even Beverly Hills Chihuahua would have been a better choice.

Anonymous said...

The cure for poverty is to get off your behind and get a job that pays you real money.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Petey comment: I don't like chihuahuas.

Other comment: If this is directed at me, I have a job, and it pays me real money, not the Monopoly sort. Thanks for your concern.