La La Cinema 


When I was young and living outside of my mother’s protection for the first time, I was living in San Clemente, California.  There was and is nothing like it; at least not for me. I remember on El Camino Real there was this old building that looked like one of those classic movie houses:  you know, like the one in that Jim Carrey movie The Majestic. Well what can I say, I was young and impressionable and this was back when Beverly Hills, 90210 was still in production. (The one with Brandon and Kelly and Donna, not that horse shit remake from a few years back.)  Anyway. I knew and had known since the age of 11 that there was nothing I wanted more than to be a writer for a living. (See? You totally thought I was going a different direction with that, didn’t you?  That’s me babe. I like to keep everyone guessing. ). I wanted to live in California, publish books out of New York and of course be taller and thinner with luxurious hair that always looked like slow motion when I tossed it over my shoulder. Oh. And I never had regrowth in my color or split ends. But until that happened, I was willing to settle for owning that little building on El Camino and operating a real old timey movie theater, just like in The Majestic. To this day, that movie still fills me with magic and hope. And fuck you for judging me pal; I’m a dreamer, and like all the rest of the people in my world, 99% of what we say is based on possibly unattainable bullshit. But dreaming it, imagining it, was-and is- half the fun.  

It’s 20 years later and I have been paid for writing, if you count service writing at a Ford dealership for nearly five years as being paid for writing, which I most certainly fucking do. My shits even published. Find it on any Ford computer in the galaxy. I remember when I first got that job, something that Kirk, a past boss of mine, saw fit to give me a shot at. I’ve never not been thankful to him, because it opened so many doors for me. More than I can put into words,  in fact. After my service writing career ended and I transferred stores, I now find myself working for Kirk’s brother, Todd. I’ve always said the automotive business is an incestuous world. Ka is a wheel my friends; and if you don’t know what that means, then in the words of Sterling Archer, “jeez, Lana, read a book.”

Anywho. What brought on all this on is a visit to my local movie theater this afternoon. At the age of 40 (and that’s 37 years after my first theater experience) I still love the cinema.  For me there’s almost nothing like it. My attendance has wavered over the years for one reason or another but in 2017 I’ve made a decision to follow my desire to visit the cinema at least once a month. 20 years ago I was known to frequent the Edwards 21 theater in Irvine at least a couple times a week, but nowadays I’ve got a busy job and family and therefore have to be less selfish with my time.   

Christ it takes me a long time to make a point. 

I saw two movies today: La La Land with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and Passengers with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. At the beginning of Passengers is an announcement by Chris Pratt, thanking theater patrons for choosing to see a film on the big screen, when there are so many other choices nowadays; and I thought, is theater attendance down? Because why else would Star Lord have said thanks?  Obviously I know there are other choices, way in the back of my mind.  But why anyone would choose anything over the cinema is beyond me. Probably it’s beyond all the movie nerds like me. The dreamers. The wanderers and mind changers. The trying-something-newers.  And 99% of us will never advance beyond our current roles in life.  But you can bet your ass that the 1% that steps into the Great Beyond never stopped trying for a second. They took the ridicule and patronizing looks from family and friends.  (Or, you know, their brother got em into it.)

The thing is, I guess, that no matter which side of that line I’m standing on, I know I’ll be happy. I know I’ll be miserable. I know I’ll be sick and healthy and I know that I’ll cry until I accidentally fart in front of someone but continue laughing until my face burns with embarrassment, because what the hell else could I do?  

Like always, this fucking blog is all over the place because that’s exactly where I am. For now. Maybe for always.  What can I say? There are days when my gray matter comes up with something so poetic and utterly unbelievable that ends up looking like a shit sandwich by the time I commit it to writing. Something is nearly always lost in the translation. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to make that transition seamlessly. And then cross the line. 

Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just make myself a sandwich.  

Ps. Passengers was the superior film, for anyone who’s wondering, but La La Land was still a great way to spend two hours of my life. 

Pss. You should go see those shows. (I like to call em “shows” because that’s what my Granny Goose called em. Anyway. Go see them. Maybe get a little bit dressed up, spend a night in the dark with 300 strangers and when the lights go out, and the show begins, you won’t even notice when 299 of those people disappear. 

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