So, to use our random Monday off wisely, Rach and I headed off to the movies today, to see Spiderman 3. The movie was OK, if a bit lazy, sporadic and most of all indulgent in places. But entertaining nonetheless, and hardly deserving of the critical mauling it’s currently “enjoying”.
I *love* going to the cinema, far too much. I don’t go anywhere as often as I’d like to, but I love the sounds, the smells, the feel of the movies. I’ve been a fan since the get-go, and every time I go I’m reminded of memories, of people and times….
I remember Sunday nights, heading to Reigate cinema with Linda and Jo and Alex – walking five or six miles across the Downs to sit in a tiny cinema watching a second string release. At fifteen the joy of being away from school, out on our own, unsupervised, was a fresh, crisp, simple delight. I remember when we went to see Up Close And Personal…four teenage girls united in our tears, and our hopes and fears of what was just around the corner. We had no idea what was coming. I’ll never sit in a movie theatre with those girls again, which makes these memories all the sweeter. Special times.
I remember the movie fest of ’99, when as well as heading off with my mates, trips to Inverness became the date of choice with my friends and I. Sam and David, or Sam and Andrew, and Richard and I would all pile into a car (often the deadly Proton!) and head out for the evening…an evening of films and chat and holding hands (I’m not a big one for movie snogging – what if you miss a plot point?). Richard and I had our first date at that cinema too…he took me to see A Bug’s Life (my choice!) and didn’t even laugh when I cried during it. I think that was when I realised this guy was different! I think the sheer volume of movies we saw during those months probably helped me wind up a film student…a lovely silver lining.
I remember the flicks with Fruitang, while we were still at school and then at uni, before he pulled the disappearing stunt-thing. We’d watch anything, catch the free screenings on campus, argue like an old married couple over what to see, united in good old fashioned film geekery. I miss having him to go see scary films with (I am a fraidy-cat par excellence) – the boy didn’t even get angry when I spilt popcorn all over him in Scream 2. To this day I’m a sucker for a jump cut.
I remember movies with the girls of Flat 69…I remember hiking across the greens and links to get to a late night showing of The Blair Witch Project, then sitting for two hours or so feeling vaguely carsick. We played so many games of bowling and saw so many films together – I hope we do so again soon. Surely one of us has a hen-night coming up?
I remember the summer I worked out in Ross-shire and wound up with one day a week off…I was so sceptical of going to the movies on my own, but I learnt to love it…
I remember all the Saturday afternoons I spent taking A to the cinema – I couldn’t believe they were paying me to hang out with such an awesome kid, and watch films into the bargain!
I remember Battle Royale with Kerr (I had no idea it was going to be that gory!). I remember arriving in NC, completely jet-lagged, and going to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding with Amber and Amanda. I remember going to see La Vita e Bella for the very first time in a tiny cinema in Croydon, and weeping like my heart was breaking. I remember dragging OMW to see Moulin Rouge, horrified that he hadn’t already been….
To all the people I’ve sat next to in the dark, waiting for a blockbuster or a chickflick or an arthouse gem, thank you so much for being part of these memories. To everyone else, I look forward to watching a film with you someday. Soon?