October 23, 2011 § 8 Comments
What does a plankton do when not only the children are away but a great many friends as well?
She does something she has only done maybe a handful of times in her life, and goes with a lovely friend who is still around to two movies in one day. We Need to Talk About Kevin was brilliant in many ways but made me want to slit my wrists; Midnight in Paris, a piece of harmless fluff and a good antidote to Kevin, but a complete load of bollocks. WNTTAK rather overdid the red metaphor – blimey the whole film was shot through with “blood” which struck me as a severe case of overkill (we got the point in the repellent but affecting opening shot); and Allen’s paean to Paris was all done through a yellow-y filter so it looked like a 1970s travelogue, especially his indulgent opening shots which seemed to go on for ever.
But this blog is not supposed to be about film criticism. I suppose a little riff on movie-going as a plankton is more to the point. I love movies and go to as many as I can but I always find them poignant now that I am a plankton. There is ALWAYS something directly or indirectly which I manage to turn in on myself, if not in the story – though usually in the story as so many movies have a touchy-feely element in there somewhere, even my favoured art house ones (WNTTAK may serve as about the only exception I can think of in years) – then in the actual experience of going to the cinema itself; everyone else with someone, talking, offering to buy each other chocolates or coffee, hunkering down in the deep seats, conspiratorial. It was always something I used to love doing when I was married. The long discussions after the films as enjoyable as the films themselves. Now, when I go with girlfriends, the discussions are good but they don’t necessarily go on deep into the night (we all have to get up early the next day for the school run and work), the probing, analysing and so forth. So it is the whole experience of movie-going is still affecting and irresistible, but in a different way these days and, I guess I am saying, not quite as good. I want a male companion with whom to go to movies, the better to feel that life in the movie isn’t invariably better than life outside it; the better to compare opinions down the years, the cross-referencing, the male point of view and insights. My ex-husband made me see things in new and varied ways. He was a brilliant film critic. I used to love that. Sometimes, even now, I really want to ask his opinion of a particular film, or recommend one I know he would love, but I can’t. Same way as I can’t any longer ask my late father his advice or thoughts on so many aspects of life. Things have shifted – divorce, death, interchangeable in some senses – so it’s no longer possible.
I look forward to the day – night – when I start going to films with a constant companion again.
If it ever fucking comes.