A Filmgoer Tries to Feign Interest in Art House Cinema.
BY Rodney Uhler
Wait, where are they now? Why are they suddenly in a… is that a luxury arcade? God, all this character does is cry. I think he cries in a British accent. I’ve had to pee forever, but I feel like the minute I leave is the minute that will explain the past ninety minutes. I should not have had that soda. They should just sell cans here, why is every size soda they sell guaranteed to make your bladder more intense than the movie. Focus. Pay attention. Why am I not getting this; all the reviews said it was amazing but half the time I have no idea what’s going on. Oh, what’s this? Wait, is it really over? Can they rewind? Surely I missed something—that could not have been the ending. They were just standing there looking at that rock. At least I think it was a rock, maybe it was a bible. Was this a religious movie? Even the credits are confusing. Okay, people are getting up. Oh no, he’s going to ask me what I thought of it. I can tell he loved it.
“Wow is right, man what a movie. What did I think? Well frankly I’m still processing, ya’ know? I mean who am I to comment on something like that. There was just… so… much…there. Right, right, the director was very perspicacious. Super perspicacious. I actually have to run to the bathroom. I’ll only be a second. What’s that? Yeah, no, I need a minute to really let that all sink in too. Totally.”
What the fuck is perspicacious? I need to stop going to movies with this guy. Sometimes I just want to see someone blow something up and then hug a puppy. That is worth twelve bucks. Oh man I really did have to pee. This has got to be one of my top ten pees. Top five. I’m going to die if he tries to carry on a conversation about this film. I already forgot what that main character’s name was: Genesis? Gondola? Gernurva? I couldn’t tell if that orgy scene was real or a dream. If it was real why were there so many cats? I don’t think you could have an orgy next to that many cats, someone is bound to get scratched. Alright, if I stay here any longer he’s going to think I’m not just peeing. Hopefully I can just agree with everything he says until the topic changes.
“Hey, sorry about that. What was my favorite part? Probably the hand soap, they had really nice smelling soap in there. Antibacterial too. Oh, OH, favorite part of the film! Ha, of course. Well I mean you already said how perspicacious the director was. So there’s that. But also… well also the sound design was really incredible. Very clear sounds. A very rich sound design. No, I’m not joking I just really pick up on these things. What was your favorite part?”
All I have to do is shake my head a few times and let out some thoughtful and agreeable sounds and he’ll keep going. Why didn’t I pay attention more in film history. Should I have read more Descartes? The director has a hyphenated last name, so he’s probably very good. I just know this is going to be one of those films that everyone obsesses over and I’m going to be that loser who didn’t get it. If I say I didn’t like it though they’ll think I’m actively trying to not like it just to be alternative. I either give that impression or admit to just not understanding a goddamn second of this movie. This is all very stressful. Why should I suffer like this?! All I wanted was a nice night out at the movies, but instead I leave feeling demoralized, inferior and probably suffering residual bladder damage. Oh no, is he talking to me?
“What was that? Oh yes, well I appreciated the non-linear narrative as well. I didn’t really say that because I almost thought it was a given. I’ve said before that narratives are way too linear these days. No, really, I’ve said it before just ask Adam. I thought it was an interesting choice having that actor read his dialogue backwards. What? That was Finnish? That makes sense, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. The use of what? Chiaroscuro? I don’t remember seeing sushi in the film. It means what? Oh, right THAT chiaroscuro, yes yes very intense shadow and contrast. Your pronunciation threw me. I’ve always heard it pronounced in a different way, with a heavy O.”
Who does joker think he is, Roger-fucking-Ebert? Why am I friends with these people? I bet he loved the cat orgy. I bet he saw it as a metaphorical allegory to the human condition. My condition is fucking annoyed. If he says “dramatic tension” one more time I’m going to chiaroscuro his head off. I’m a friendship masochist that’s what I am. I knew I just wanted to watch Marley and Me and drink Corona Lights, but no, I had to indulge this prick. There’s no way I can say anything more about this film. He’s still going. Unbelievable. He’s quoting the New Yorker review. That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. For the sake of our friendship I need to leave, for the sake of moviegoers everywhere I have to…
“What’s that? A bar? That sounds perfect, absolutely perfect. No, of course you can choose—you know me I’m not too picky. Do I like craft beers? Oh of course, I live for craft beers. What batch? Small batch, yes small batch are definitely far superior. Perspicacious even.”
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