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Monday, January 21, 2008

 

Awkward conversations with strangers # 1

The first in what may or may not become an ongoing series!

At a sold-out screening of There Will Be Blood at Cinema 21 I found myself sitting next to three possibly drunk and/or stoned women in their early 60s. After tossing down their coats, two of them ran off to buy sodas, leaving me to kill time with their chatty friend.

HER: Wow, there's a lot of people here.

ME: Yeah, a big turnout. I think Cinema 21 is the only theater in town showing this movie right now.

HER: [standing up] This a real happening. Wow! Look at them all.

ME: Yeah, it's, um, a....happening all right.

Over a week later I still don't know what a "happening" is. So I decided to look it up. According to dictionary.com...

Happening: an unconventional dramatic or artistically orchestrated performance, often a series of discontinuous events involving audience participation.

I don't know if I would describe director Paul Thomas Anderson's "cinematic trip into the darkest corners of the human soul" (I read that in a review somewhere) a "happening" but it's definitely something. I think "bleak tour de force" might be a better way to describe the movie. Or "really flippin' good, y'all" works too.

The lady and her friends spent a good portion of the movie giggling at random moments, especially during the "WTF?" climax. I think they liked it more than I did and I'm sure gin played a part in that. If I see the movie again I'm totally getting wasted beforehand.

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