They’re young. They’re in love. They’re outdated?Posted: January 23, 2011
Walk down the right back alley in Sin City, and you can find anything. The same can be said of dollar theaters in Oklahoma.
This state seems to possess the requisite power for conjuring new breeds of movie-goers day after day. Some will cruse by the concession stand on their way out, content to express their opinion with a classic thumbs up or thumbs down. Some shake or nod their heads in silent appreciation or disappointment. Some shrug, indicating a mediocre experience. Some talk to their friends or family, defending or attacking opinions that, to eavesdroppers, seem as cheap as the theater’s dollar hot dogs. And some, my favorite, are never at a loss for words, openly editorializing opinions that sometimes astound, usually anger, but always entertain.
This is especially true on Tuesday, my favorite work day – when both customer intellect and ticket prices are slashed in half.
Movies have always brought people together. They have always created a kind of artificial gravity that unite people in conversation – a common denominator as the saying goes. I love Tuesdays because they manage to dredge up the lowest possible common denominator week after week. Remember how long it took Ed Harris to hit deep ocean floor in The Abyss. Yeah, that low. Tuesday’s customers routinely have conversations that divide themselves by zero.
As Jules says to Vincent, example.
Tuesday last, a group of about fifteen sorority girls came in to see Easy A – a great movie. When the show ended, the ladies congregated in a neat little semi-circle around the girls restroom (and, as it happened, a Toy Story 3 poster, which had the rotten luck of being in the high-traffic case framed to face the lobby – that’s what Pixar get for being so damn accessible). The group’s general feeling toward the film was of a positive nature.
And then it happened, as these things usually do on Tuesdays, with a comment. A comment so miserable, so aloof, so inherently stupid that it shouldn’t be labeled a comment at all, as that could imply some semblance of brain function was involved in its creation.
“I don’t think anyone should watch movies that came out more than thirty years ago,” our villainous, Ugg booted sorority girl chirped. “That was before I was even born.”
Yeah, about that.
I’ll just pick a personal favorite, Bonnie And Clyde. Now over forty years old, Arthur Penn’s masterpiece is as socially significant as ever. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were Depression Era rebels that lashed out against a political system much of the citizenry had lost faith in. Confused and angry, destitute Americans turned to a government that, year after year, proved itself incapable of fixing rampant financial problems.
The Barrow Gang personified the anger of an era with a very individualistic form of revolt. They were their own revolution on their own terms. Preexisting conditions like “right” and “wrong” didn’t matter to a nation that followed the couple’s every move. The Barrow Gang did something when people were tired of nothing being done.
I’m not a very political guy. Bonnie And Clyde just happens to be a very political movie. My point is this: the age of a movie has absolutely nothing to do with its relevancy today.
Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.