Thursday, March 12, 2009

the 18th man

just have the courage to stand up, walk away
change the channel, refuse to stay
--the chorus to the "choose good media" song from the "for the strength of youth" musical tape that i discovered on my mission.  i had a dance that went along with it.

i went to see the sacrifice by andrei tarkovsky last night at the international cinema.  he makes long, slow movies; i know that.  i've seen three of his movies (and he only made seven or eight in all), and love two of them.  but they do require a lot of thought and effort on the part of the viewer.  summed up, his movies center around ponderous, pensive people discussing and debating grand philosophical questions of life.  not much else happens.  and, in my experience, it usually works.

i liked that the movie had only four shots in the first fifteen minutes.  i liked the discussions and questions.  i loved the sudden shot of the little boy jumping out of nowhere.  and it was interesting that the film was actually made (and spoken) in sweden.  and that a lot of ingmar bergman's crew worked on it.
but it soon became very slow and despairing, with a small group of people sitting around an empty, isolated house bemoaning that tragic state of the world.  and not in the good, bergman's seventh seal way, but more in the depressing bergman's through a glass darkly way.  and i was barely an hour into this two and a half hour movie.  and i wasn't pretty sure it wasn't going to "pick up."

soon, it became a battle of pride.  i noticed a few people walk out after twenty minutes.  "amatuers," i thought to myself.  i refused to look at the clock; that just makes it go slower.  maybe i could get sucked into the movie.  despite it violating a serious code of the darkened theater, i checked my phone, hoping to text someone to share the boredom.  i didn't want to leave because even if i didn't want to see the movie, i wanted to have seen the movie.  i'm interested in tarkovsky, i presumed that the ending would payoff.  i wanted to see what other people appreciated about this.

during the first hour and a half, i counted seventeen people leave.
i was the eighteenth.

[natalie, you're right: it's hard to get in the habit of writing again]


Natalie said...

I always feel so honored when I'm mentioned in your posts! ...and way to leave a lame movie.

The Former 786 said...

Wow. You made it through Solaris, but you didn't make it through this film. I'm going to put it on my "avoid" list, then.

I also have the annoying habit of wanting to finish the film that I've started, even if I'm miserable. Only a few times have I walked out/turned off a movie and been ok with not "having seen" it.

It takes a big film student to do what you did. I applaud you.

Trevor said...

I never thought I'd see the day on which you would walk out of a boring movie. :)

Em said...

even brilliant people sometimes make train wrecks.....and it's ok.