Tonight I got to feel like a bigshot, with my name on "the List" and a comped ticket to see a screening of one of IFTA's 30 Most Significant Independent Films. (Check out the full list. I disagree with some of them, but these kinds of things are always subjective). I dressed up for the occasion, projecting the image of a successful businesswoman in my wrap dress, trench coat, and pointy black heels. I was hoping to network a little, though knowing my crippling social awkwardness, I doubted that I would finally meet my stepping stone to stardom. (Spoiler alert, I didn't...) The fancy attire was also a tribute to one of my favorite shows of all time, How I Met Your Mother. If you haven't heard, today was International Suit-Up Day, so I had to bring it.
To be honest, the only reason I went to the screening was because it was sadly undersold and I was filling a seat. Plus, to quote Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast club, "I didn't have anything better to do." When I arrived (rather over-dressed I might add), the mid-sized theater was maybe 20% filled. I know it's a Wednesday night, and who wants to see an older movie on a Wednesday night? But still, this movie was absolutely breathtaking on the big screen. Did I mention that it was Sex, Lies, and Videotape (thus my clever, misleading title)? If you haven't seen Steven Soderbergh's brilliant debut film, then Netflix the crap out of it right this instant. I saw it for the first time a couple years ago. I probably got it from the now bankrupt Blockbuster (my home away from home for many a-year and a-paycheck), and watched it on my 15 inch laptop screen. Like most DVDs, I probably watched it in increments, like chapters in a book, depending on my schedule. I remember liking it, but it was pretty much forgotten as soon as it hit the return bin.
Obligatory Photo. I feel like blogs with photos are easier to read.
I used to think the format didn't matter when you watched a movie. As long as the movie is good, it should hold up on any size screen, no 3-D, high-def, or surround sound necessary. I still believe this to be true. But seeing Sex, Lies, and Videotape in the theater made all the difference in the world. It's a dialogue-heavy, character-driven art house film, which means it's not for everyone or every mood. But with a movie that relies so much on subtext and incredibly powerful performances, every nuance was magnified. My attention wasn't diverted by IM, homework, the phone, roommates, or the world around me. I was completely immersed in that world. And it reminded me of why I got into this business to begin with.
After the nightmare of unemployment, and now my enjoyable but ultimately non-creative day job in an office, I've started to lose focus on my passion. And it took Steven Soderbergh's voyeuristic exploration of a drifting married couple and a mysterious outsider to make me pay attention. So the moral of the story is, see movies in the theater if you can afford it (which I usually can't), because it monumentally impacts your viewing experience.