This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. I’ll tell you a secret about this series. There is a list of films/theaters I put together when I started this project… and I sometimes refer to it. But, what really kicks off an entry (whether it’s on that list or not) most of the time is other bloggers. Meaning, someone will write something interesting I’ll read and that will trigger the memory (and the rest is putting it down in a post). In this case, it’s tied with film blogger Tony Dayoub’s celebration and giveaway last week of the recently released Blu-ray Disc of one of his all-time favorite films for its 25th Anniversary Year (his article is located here).
“See that clock on the wall? In five minutes you are not going to believe what I’ve told you.”
The Fox Theatre:
[photos courtesy of the Cinema Treasures site]
October 11, 1986: as work and life began to change for me during the 80s, there was always the movies. And the simple, familiar, and comforting act of going to see them at a theater. Any one would do. A good number of times, work colleagues would join in on the experience. One such person, another like me at the time, was an assistant to a physician performing medical research. We’d periodically went to see films after work hours.
His girlfriend wasn’t into the cinema as much as him, and I…well, she-whose-name-must-not-be-spoken were beginning our separation act. These things either take longer or shorter time than expected. Taking in a flick was just good therapy in those days. Blue Velvet was all the talk among newspapers, TV critics and people at work when it debuted. At a time when there was no internet (Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau wouldn’t deliver that to the populace till the 90s, so chill).
Strangely similar to my experience with Blade Runner, the two of us headed out to the small (a paltry 647 seats) Fox Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard for this one. My friend loved it, which I duly credit him here. My first experience with David Lynch’s film was instant… I hated it. Whether it was related to what was happening in my life at the time, not understanding the noirish surreal quality of the motion picture, or just plain not getting it, I don’t know. Likely all of the above.
Yet, I found myself watching it on VHS rental the next year and began to be mesmerized by the film. Years later, I’d take it in at a revival theater. Though made to feel just as uncomfortable in certain scenes (if you’ve seen it, you know the ones I refer to) as my first time visiting the town of Lumberton, somehow couldn’t let it go. I now consider it one the director’s finest. It must be…I bought that Blu-ray Disc of the film last week.