17 January 2009

The Most Moronic Fraternity

This weekend will be a three-movie weekend--something of a record for me, I'm sure, and it will take my 2009 movie tally up to nine (although only six at the cinema). Notorious is on at the BFI for a few more weeks yet but there are also about four other films I want to see coming out next week and the week after so I didn't want to get behind. 

Having listened to me state repeatedly throughout much of my time at university how I didn't like to watch anything made before about 1992 and certainly not anything in black and white (although I did make exceptions for The Last Picture Show (which remains one of my favourites), Bonnie & Clyde and several films in the Kubrick season Trinity College were running in my final year), The Ex and Monsieur Exquisite find it quite amusing that I am now desperately trying to shore up my back catalogue and experience a little culcha every once in a while. Even argumentative ol' me couldn't be bothered to defend myself for that one--I'm sure it was all just a way of rebelling against Monsieur Exquisite.

Now, the re-release of Notorious has got most movie critics worked up into a tizzy as they try to come up with suitable adjectives to describe just how amazing it is. The chemistry between Grant and Bergman comes up at least once in every review, as does the fact that each of them was "born" to play their respective role in that film. The dialogue does crackle: 
"My car is outside." / "Naturally."
"Don't you need a coat?" / "You'll do."

The man sitting next to me in the cinema had obviously worked in the industry as he was telling his wife/acquaintance how he had worked with Hitchcock (in some capacity) on another film and how Hitchcock hadn't been happy with the final edit of the film as several scenes, such as a long monologue by Emil before he "disappeared," had been cut out. Ah, it is so nice to go and see a great film with a load of film buffs, even if I have to keep my philistine mouth firmly shut.

The only problem is that I have become prematurely lame. Specifically, I am usually so sleep deprived that on the rare occasions when I find myself in a dark room, my body thinks, "oh, fuck, better catch some zeds while it's still possible" and I find it very hard to keep my eyes open. I didn't do a science subject at university so I don't know of the pain of nine o'clock lectures suffered by my friends although there was one awful French listening lecture in my second year on the French political system and I had gone to sleep at about five a.m. and so was nodding throughout the 50 minutes. 

I have the same problem now at the cinema--I will be fine for the first ten minutes and then my eyes will start drifting shut...and then I'll jerk back to attention again, horribly embarrassed to have drifted off, even if only for a second or two. Usually, after about five minutes of nodding, the shame means that I jerk awake so violently that all thoughts of sleep are stricken from my mind and I am able to get on with watching the film. But those five minutes are such a struggle. This didn't happen at Milk last night, although I think that is because the preview started at 6.30 and went on until after 10--obviously I wasn't going to eat before 6.30 but by 10, I was starving and so definitely not concerned about sleep deprivation (although I generally approve of the BFI's "no food in the cinema" policy, when a preview screening and Q&A takes up all of the hours during which I would normally eat dinner, I find it a bit much).

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