One of my favorite treats is seeing a movie on my own. I love bouncing into the chair, casting my limbs across both armrests, and digging into my box of candy. Usually, I bypass the four or five theaters nearest our neighborhood for a smaller theater that’s a bit farther. It lacks stadium seats and booming speakers, and I don’t think the armrests even have cupholders.
Movies fall on a spectrum between art and entertainment, and I prefer the films (insert snooty voice) that rest closer to the art side. I like to watch movies that will spark a conversation afterward and prompt some introspection. Ninety-five percent of the theaters play the same movies, so I continue driving to that little theater to watch documentaries and independent dramas. And I hope that my few dollars help keep it in business.
Here are a few movies coming out this summer: Iron Man 3, The Hangover: Part III, Fast and Furious 6, and Man of Steel — another Superman remake. I know that I will be able to walk into nearly any theater in town this summer and see these films. Their soundtracks will rattle ears, and their action scenes will jar pupils. A few weeks after we have seen them, we will forget them.
Here is a movie we might never see: Return to Zero. It’s about a couple who have a stillborn baby and how that event shatters their lives. The film has already been shot with the help of volunteers and some well-known actors who accepted small paychecks. The creators need to raise $50,000 to finish editing the film so that it has a chance of making it to the theaters. There’s a Kickstarter campaign to do just that.
I am saddened that we will support six versions of the same action movie while this little film fights for a chance. I know that the movies are an escape. I, too, want to watch Ryan Gosling strut across the screen. How about some balance, though? Really, these little, independent dramas are more gutsy than the biggest action movie. Somebody had to sweat, hustle, and beg to get them into a theater.
I want to support creative thinkers and risk takers. And I hope that in doing so, I might leave the theater as a more thoughtful person rather than someone numbed by the din.