Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sitting in the Dark

But first a little self-promotion. In the new "The Horn Book" there are four very short pieces about reading-as-a-child. Mine's one of them. Take a look if you're interested.

Now about the dark. I go to the movies at least once a week and watch DVDs twice or three times. The new George Clooney movie isn't much (what do I care if he has his shirt off) but "Michael Clayton" is wonderful. I watch it every few months.

I just got back from seeing the first of two movies about Mesrine, the French gangster. (I hope that's how it's spelled. It's close, anyway.) Probably I'll see Part II tomorrow. There were fifteen of us in the theatre. Mostly people on their own. 1:30 in Pasadena. Cloudy and cool.

I've never been much of a joiner, but I feel inordinately close to other moviegoers. I wouldn't want to chat afterwards or agree to meet again in order to go to other films. I like having new, unknown friends the next time I sit down in the dark.

I've never felt peculiar going to so many movies, much less guilty. I've been to three in a day. When I tell people that and they seem amazed I think, "Why? Lots of people do it." Susan Sontag for one.

Not that it's always been easy to always go to the movies that I need to see or the ones that need me there to see them. I've been spurned by women and misunderstood by men. I've missed family get-togethers and been late to holiday meals.

A couple of lines from an Adam Fell poem might help explain things --
"No matter what story they tell, I met them honorably, despite the tall fence, despite/the lack of funding."

Right? Despite the tall fence.



  1. Isn't it a tad difficult for Susan Sontag to go to the movies these days?

  2. first off, congrats on the Horn Book piece, Ron!

    And second, does it count if you're sitting in the dark in your own home surfing netflix for a decent downloadable film, because there is no movie theatre in the new town you've just moved to, thinking maybe there's a silent comradeship with the woman in the suburban rancher across the street--the woman who won't smile at you but will go up and ask the Comcast worker who is setting up YOUR internet service about HER cable tv channels??

  3. This post helps validate my movie infatuation in a way that fellow shadowed strangers in the theater never could. I'm happy that there are other shameless movie addicts out roaming the world, but I am happier still when I know some of them by name.

  4. Chris -- There's a matinee special for corpses. So Susan S. gets in for 2 bucks.

  5. And she doesn't have to pay for concessions, she sneaks in her own Gummy Worms.