Monday, May 4, 2009

Showing at the Marlowe

I've been in love with the talking pictures for as long as I can remember. It all started with the ubiquitous, "Snow White", which scared the hell out of me, stepmothers talking in mirrors and all. Then, "Last Train From Gun Hill," "River of No Return," "Friendly Persuasion," and this thing called, "Something of Value". This was long before ratings came into being and parents had a little guidance to help them in their decision-making. "Little Women," came 'round again about the time I thought I'd make my mark as a great actress. I practiced crying on cue with good results. It's a talent that came in handy in a large family. My siblings often used it to their advantage. If there was a movie we all wanted to see - this particular memory contains, "The Nutty Professor," with Jerry Lewis - I was sent. When I returned and the answer was no they asked, "Did you cry?" If I hadn't they said,"Well, go back and cry!" We didn't care what was on the marquee, we just knew there was a movie at the Marlowe and we were going.

One of the reasons I love Santa Fe is the wonderful, diverse options for movie-going. I'm particularly fond of The Screen. it consistently shows great independent and foreign films along with some outstanding documentaries. Those who go there understand what movie-going is, or should be, all about. Great respect is shown to the filmmakers and the film itself with quiet watching, the lights staying down for the entire credits and everyone allowing themselves a chance to let the film soak into their being. The best films leave you with a feeling that you're caught between two worlds - the so-called real world and, well, the reel world. I love that surreal feeling when I leave the theater and still feel engaged in the world I just left.

I rarely walk out of a movie. I don't want to disrupt other people's viewing and I don't want to make a statement that in turn makes others uncomfortable ... unless there's more at stake. In the case of, "The Informers," I had to make an exception. It's based on a Bret Easton Ellis story so I really was forewarned in a way, but the group of actors participating drew me into it. I am not a prude so the sexuality wasn't a problem and I've seen plenty of violence that didn't make me run from the theater. But this group of characters consisted of stupid, if not bad people, doing stupid, bad things. They hurt each other, hurt themselves on every level and they just kept on making really bad choices. It may have been the eighties, the Me Decade, but that's no excuse. Bad behavior or bad choices just doesn't cut it anymore and I don't want to see it on the screen in some glorified fashion. I tried to wait for some redeeming value to show up, lasting almost an hour, and then I just couldn't waste another minute of my life. The scene of the so-called rock star and the poor naive girl from Lincoln, Nebraska forced me out of my seat and out of the theater. It was very liberating, in every sense. Way yucky! I felt like the goose who is force-fed to create foie gras. Watch at your own peril.

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