Last night was date night. I highly recommend dating your husband by the way. There is nothing better than cuddling and engaging in all the sweet things that should never get lost in the day to day of life. We seem to have found a sitter with staying power and we are making the most of it. I have watched more movies in the past couple of months than I have seen in the last five years. Which is sad because I used to love to go to the movies. Off beat and subtitled even. There is an old time theater in Des Moines called The Varsity that shunned Hollywood fare for the most part and offered a steady stream of foreign and independent films. I like these types of movies but I really loved going to that theater. It has one of those big screens that make you feel as though you are truly experiencing something as opposed to watching television in your living room. Newer multiplexes are nice. It is wonderful to have movable armrests, be able to see over people’s heads, and I will never complain about the abundance of cup holders. I miss that feeling of wonder however when the curtain rises and the house lights dim. Sinking back into the upholstered foam of seats that rock a bit too much and are a bit too easy to annoy your neighbor with. I miss staring up at the screen and the feeling that I am entering whatever world is up there as opposed to simply staring across a room at it. The theater last night reminded me of days gone by when the old Orpheum, a converted vaudeville theater back in my hometown, would shoehorn as many kids as possible in for the Saturday matinee of the latest Disney flick. There would be so many of us that sometimes it was necessary to sit on the steps in the box seats off the balcony.
Last night’s film was You Kill Me with Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni, who Rob says I remind him of though I don’t see it really, and was about a hitman with an alcohol problem and his journey to sobriety. It also featured death. Funny but many of the movies we have seen lately have had their “dead” moments or more. In last night’s film Kingsley’s character works in a funeral home. The Matador, which we saw on video, was about a man whose young son has died and he gets involved with a hitman. The Wedding Crashers (a supremely bad movie that just proves that vulgarity and meanness continue to pass as funny for too many people) had scenes near the end describing how Will Ferrell’s character was crashing funerals to find horny widows. Children of Men is awash in grief images and references. The 300 is a deathfest. I asked Rob if he thought that the movies had always been like this and we just didn’t notice, and he thought that was the case. I guess he is probably right. Even the kid’s movies we have taken Katy to like Shrek the Third and Ratatouille managed to slip such images (tasteless ones in the case of Shrek) into the storyline.
Film is no different from any other aspect of life. I cannot read the paper without finding articles about people’s loss. Books and magazines are often the same. Death is the only inevitable in life as one’s birth is not always assured, and it is the one thing we all have in common regardless of circumstances.