Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Game Day Rituals

In a sort of continuation of the Event Films post from a while back, this time a post dealing with all kinds of films...

This is a question for everyone, but especially for those readers of mine who have been to film festivals, or at least people who either occasionally, sometimes, regularly or frequently see more than one film in a cinema in a day, as I am about to do today in San Francisco at the Opera Plaza Cinema on Van Ness Avenue (practically right next to the opera house and symphony hall, for those wondering about its name).

I'm seeing OSS 117: Cairo--Nest of Spies and Alexandra today, with approximately an hour-long break in-between.

Any rituals? Alimental or otherwise? I'm packing a fine turkey sandwich made at a North Bay deli, which I can eat in the car, partly before the first film and then later finish it during the break.

In terms of mindset, I always lean towards seeing what I suspect to be the "lighter" film first and then see the heavier one.

I know at film festivals this kind of "planning" is not typically possible, but what about just average theatrical adventures? Including just seeing a single film? Please don't tell me you're the person who shows up just as the film is beginning with a giant tub of popcorn and audibly munch while annoyingly looking at your bright cellphone every three minutes.

I suppose the point is, if a cinema is an artistic cathedral, how do you get ready to go to church and what do you do when you get there?

You won't see me distract you at a cinema with a cellphone. Proud to say I don't own one!


Craig Kennedy said...

Living in LA, as in most things, seeing multiple movies is all about logistics...simply getting from one place to another.

If I'm in a multiplex and I'm doing the multi-movie sneak in, it's all about timing and planning ahead. I've had plans as big as 5 movies in a day, but have only ever had the energy for 3.

All technical considerations aside, I like to load the hardest movies first and save the lighter ones for when I have less energy. Anything long or subtitled goes first. Genre pictures come second.

Also, I like to design the day around a good place to eat that I might not get around to going to as often as I like.

Alexander Coleman said...

That sounds very much like what I sometimes do, Craig. I've often seen two or three films at the Sony Metreon on Mission in San Francisco. They have restaurants downstairs, and they're all pretty good, and I love scheduling a day there (which happens about twice or three times a year, honestly). I also like to double-dip at the Century Regency in northern San Rafael, just off of 101. There's an excellent Italian restaurant down the freeway just about a mile and a half, so I almost always go there.

Interesting idea, seeing the hardest movies first and going light later. I probably ought to try that. Now that I think about it, I do remember doing that once at the Metreon (saw Training Day early, which wasn't that "hard," really, and then Bandits).

Going to the Metreon and other multiplexes though, it's mostly mainstream fare and going to arthouses it's mostly limited fare, so for a greater balance going to the Regency, which is kind of a high-end multiplex, or at least it was as recently as six months ago (it's been going more and more mainstream recently... sigh)

Daniel G. said...

Love game days!

Last night I correctly followed up Zohan with a sneak-in to Kung Fu Panda. My timing was impeccable - meaning I couldn't even take a bathroom break. In this case the movies had the same mood, but I knew the second would be better.

Sometimes I'll bring snacks, sometimes I'll eat beforehand and just chew gum for a few hours. A friend and I usually head to Old Chicago (pizza/pasta) beforehand, sometimes in between.

I think generally I like to do follow a lighter movie with a heavy one. I might kill the comic/fun buzz I have, but I feel like if I go from dark and serious into light and funny, the first won't get under my skin as it should have. I don't know if that makes sense.

I have some great theater offerings around here, including 3 Landmark theatres about 10 minutes apart (one is actually across the street from the other). And the multiplexes, well like Craig says, just takes some planning. It's easier for me since I like to avoid the previews, so I don't have to be so careful with my timing.

Film festivals - well those are great, especially when they're international. You can go to three or four different countries in an afternoon

Alexander Coleman said...

I agree, Daniel, at least in theory, I tend to think going from light to heavy, and comedy to drama, fits for me better, especially for the sake of the comedy. Yesterday seeing OSS 117 first and Alexandra first, I think, worked pretty well.

We have a number of Landmark theatres in San Francisco, Daniel. They're good places to see films in the city.

How was Kung Fu Panda, by the way? I'm seeing it tonight.

Daniel G. said...

Let's just say I thought Kung Fu Panda was easily as good as the positive buzz around it has claimed...

Craig Kennedy said...

Add me to the Panda fandom.

I don't think it'll go in my animation Hall of Fame alongside Incredibles or anything, but I have to say comedies rarely make me laugh that much and damnit this one was breezily funny. Fun and funny action scenes and good voice work from the leads. The supporting cast felt a little wasted, but hey, you can't win them all.

Alexander Coleman said...

Just got home from it.

You guys both be right on, as usual.

Get ready to feel the thunder!

Jeffery said...

It can't work in reality, that's exactly what I think.
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