Movie Plankton

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.

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§ 8 Responses to Movie Plankton

  • june says:

    Dont have much experience of goin g to cinema with male companion plankton i enjoy going with girlfriends, difficulty i find is finding a suitable night all these coupled up people can go.

    The last film i saw was One Day, twice,yep twice an old school friend of mine had arranged to come over and see it with me bank holiday monday, she wanted to ;look round shops, we were having early dinner and going.The thursday before, friend who has horror of becoming a plankton, arrived on my doorstep asking me did i want to see One Day as had row with partner and he wouldnt go!she didnt want to go on own, so did i want to, me being me,too soft for my own good, not thinking thanks, like all;planktons everywhere,im just a fill in, and thinking one less plankton type night, , said fine,just popped on heels, brushed my hair and put on lippy and went. I didnt mind seeing twice,it was i feel a very plankton type film, she waited all that while for her dream man,she knew him all while, then got killed, do i find myself wishing if anyone had to be killed it should have been him, how he had messed her around, but then book was written by a man wasnt it..

  • MissBates says:

    Funny, I’ve never minded going to the movies alone. (Which seeing how things turned out, is pretty lucky, I guess….LOL!)

    However, I am a huge fan of classical music. (I trained as a musician before detouring into law — don’t ask.) So anyway, most weeks during the season I can be found 2 or 3 nights a week at Carnegie Hall, the NY Philharmonic, and every once in a while the Metropolitan Opera. I have a couple of friends (one a widow 15 years my senior, one a fellow plankton a couple of years younger than me) who are my usual concert-going companions, and I’d say about 75 percent of the time I’m quite content to attend with them. But the rest of the time, particularly when I hear a favorite piece, I wish I was there with a man with whom I could share my joy in the music. Sometimes I sit there with the tears rolling down my cheeks, although I always make sure they’re dry by the time the lights come up.

    All of which is to say: “I hear you.”

  • EmGee says:

    “Sometimes, even now, I really want to ask his opinion of …”

    Ah yes, that one I relate to deeply

  • Lydia says:

    I don’t watch films very often ( I think the English say films not movies , by the way) although I have nothing against it in principle. Life is just too busy and it’s expensive. I probably go to the cinema about once every 5 years although if I h ad a boyfriend who wanted to go.

    I did take one boyfriend to what we thought was going to be a very sexy film and we had to leave after 20 minutes as the back ground to all the scenes was some dreadful kind of popular music. Even so as I’m an optimist we made even better use of the time.

    I think you still love your ex husband. It may be the biggest thing keeping the plankton at the bottom of the sea and the biggest difference between us. Every day even now well after my divorce I wake up so so happy he is not here and thinking how lucky I am that that is so. May be even one day I will have enough money / time and child free to go to the cinema alone. Perhaps the fact I don’t makes me happy to anticipate what will come, that not having what you want now makes us happier because we anticipate whaat we might gain and if in 6 years when the youngest two go to university I am at last alone I will savour it if I haven’t remarried by then.

  • fi says:

    Lydia – apart from spending time having sex with men, what else do you do? Maybe knowing what other things you do,who you do them with and your views on those things will provide valuable lessons for us.

  • Margaux says:

    I say movies,Lydia, and I’m English … ( ??? *puzzled*)

    Agreed it’s great to debate something you’ve had a shared experience with – but does it have to be a significant other? What if you meet someone who isn’t a movie buff?

    • The Plankton says:

      He doesn’t have to be a buff as long as he enjoys films/movies and has something to say about them. But perhaps that’s too much to ask…? Any criteria, when a plankton, seems too much to ask… Px

      • MissBates says:

        LOL! Requiring that he have a pulse seems to be about as picky as a plankton can get these days, much less imposing standards about movie preferences.

        (Being an American, I do say “movie” rather than “film,” but I’m guessing you knew what I meant anyway. *snort*)

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