Sunday, March 14, 2010

Films Viewed (February 2010)

The Hurt Locker
Putty Hill (excerpt)
La Corona
JFK (director's cut)
The Battle of Algiers
Final Flesh
The Last Station
Numero Deux
American Graffiti
The Last Picture Show
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Hot Tub Time Machine

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Landmark Harbor East
Other (Video Americain, School Library, Wholphin)
Total: 10 films, 1 short film, 1 excerpt from a longer work (6 in theaters)

NOTE THE NEW POLICY: If you want me to say something about any of the films viewed, please ask. I will be more than happy to speak on their qualities. If not, I shall keep mum.

the Brith of a Cineaste (1998-present)

After I broke up with the girlfriend who hated movies, I almost immediately entered into a relationship with a girlfriend who loved movies.

I had a lot of catching up to do.

I have two impulses that are pretty strong in me. One, if you deny me something for specious or arbitrary reasons, I will want it more. Two, if you tell me I can't do something, I will do it more just to defy you.

My first tentative encounter with the Charles happened just as they opened under the present management. I saw the second half of a Saturday Night Fever/Pulp Fiction double feature. Through my work for the A&E section of my college newspaper, I began attending critical and preview screenings there. It was at a screening of Kissed that I think that my love for the place, then still a one screen, solidified.

The Senator came into play during the Star Wars digital ruinings of late 1990s. I was there for more than that, of course, seeing many mainstream and classic films there over the years. I am especially grateful for my experience of a "proper" screening of Laurence of Arabia before the ol' gal entered into her current season of local band sucktitude. The place has really nuked the soup recently, if you ask me.

The Rotunda was owned by the Loews chain the middle to late 1990s, and used to screen arthouse fare, forcefully exercising its clearance over the Charles on many occasions. I saw Requiem for a Dream, the Virgin Suicides, You Can Count on Me, and many other films there that you might have expected me to have caught at the Charles.

My old interests rekindled, I added the recent explosion of American Independent cinema to the agenda. If I had the time, I was at the movies. If you were talking to me, I probably wanted to talk to you about film. If it was a nice sunny day out, I could be found in a darkened auditorium.

On one level, it is silly to talk about this person who is still me now. Clearly, a person who keeps a bi-monthly blog on film exhibition in Baltimore still has a more than healthy film habit. You know how I feel when it comes to the cinema: go hard or go home.

After a year's campaign, I got a part-time job at the Charles in 2003, and the rest is history.

Next month, I will devote this space once again to the goings on at the various local theaters. I hope this nostalgic exercise wasn't too painful. Before then, my Films Viewed (February 2010).