Wednesday, February 20, 2019

in a big dark room with strangers

Sometimes I wonder if movie theaters will always be around — as people design their elaborate home theaters, with enormous televisions and “all the comforts of home.”  But “all the comforts of home” includes all the distractions of home — the phone ringing, somebody at the door, the “Hey, can you put this on Pause while I go to the bathroom?”

I realize that if you’re watching something like Dude, Where’s My Car?, then who cares?  But it just doesn’t seem that serious filmmaking gets a fair shake when competing with the arrival of the pizza delivery guy.  Or maybe serious filmmaking would go away right along with the demise of the movie theater experience.

You might know that I always see all of the Best Picture Oscar nominees before the award telecast. Yesterday, it was my turn to see the current nominee Roma.  I saw it at one of the local theaters.

This film is also streaming on Netflix; in fact, it’s a Netflix production.  So I had some Facebook friends wondering why I would go to a theater when I could have watched it for free at home on Netflix.

Those same people who watched it at home didn’t like the film, and I understand that.  This movie needs full attention.  It’s in Spanish with English subtitles, takes place in Mexico City, and then it takes a while to figure out what the heck is going on.  I can see how viewers would be easily distracted and give up on it.

But in the dark movie theater, you’re committed!  You’ve paid for your ticket, you’re watching a big screen, you feel the intense real life that is taking place in front of you.

For this particular film, what a difference it makes.  It’s definitely worth the commitment.

No comments: