Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How am I alone in the theater?

Tonight I went to the theater and enjoyed my second viewing of The Fault In Our Stars.  This has been a huge success and I clearly was not the only one in the theater watching this gem about love, life, and just living, but there is a point that the movie brought me in and no one else was in the theater.  This feeling, of course, has come over me multiple times while enjoying a great piece of cinema, but now I feel that it's about time to talk about that feeling that I am sure we all get at one point in any movie.  Whether you are a fan of Action, Romance, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, or Comedy there is a moment in every movie where everything disappears.  If you enjoy seeing a movie at midnight and love the crowd interaction when Yoda does flips and has a light saber battle, then you relished in the silence during the battle with Darth Maul.  The silence is the moment that makes movies special for everyone, as individuals - the moment that we went to have.

My name is Drew Oliver and I want to be alone in every movie theater that I go into, and I am. This blog is going to be designed for personal experiences during a film.  I have been an avid movie-goer for a very long time and studied film at Ball State University.  I want to explore the personalization of film and how it affects us and gives us a limited time in a different reality.  The opening, rising story, climax, denouement, and the characters all give us a reason to be together and to be alone while watching a film.  This blog will focus on those moments where everything drops away and you or I become one on one with what we are watching and nothing else matters.  I am really excited about this - and I hope to hear about moments that take you out of reality and straight into the film.

Now, here are my thoughts on being alone in The Fault In Our Stars.

I will start this off by saying that I am not a fan of seeing movies on their opening night, if I know the theater will be packed and it will possibly ruin the movie for me.  So, I viewed The Fault In Our Stars on its opening night and enjoyed it.  By now, I am assuming you know the plot and/or have seen the movie.  On the night that I viewed it, there were a lot of young adults (as the novel suggests read it) and their parents.  I love the passion that everyone had coming into the movie, but everyone knew what to expect and I could feel what to expect from it.  Gasps came before gasps were needed and sobs came before sobs were ever called for and the whole audience burst out into applause after the "Douche Pants" quote happened.  I was taken in and out of this film.

I saw this film again today and it meant something else to me. Some would argue that the more you see or read something, the more important it becomes.  I disagree.  This time around, I was not going to pay attention to others and not care if the theater was packed.  I should have viewed the movie the first time as my own viewing, but I was bitter about a full audience ruining it for me.  This time, in a lesser packed theater, I heard weeping and sniffling, and it was unified.  I realize they are having their own moment and I should have had mine the first time I watched this film.

This is a chance you do not get back.  Ebert called it the "E.T. Experience."

Thanks to me paying attention to a full theater during my first viewing, I got that experience back.

Do not pay attention to your friends or others during a movie and get what you are supposed to get out of a film.  Whether you want your adrenaline pumping, your skin crawling, your tears flowing, or your date to like you - let the movie do it's work and go for the ride.

I have now explained a bit of what this blog will be about and you can go on this journey with me.  It's about the experience of the film and how it affects you as an individual and not the group you came with or the whole group of a full theater.

This blog will be about film reviews and a constant reminder of remember how movies affect us as individuals.  I will share how these movies, every week (new and of yesterday) have and will affect me.  I encourage you to think about the same thing.  There will be somewhat of a review, but I am focused on my experience in the movie.  I hope you enjoy.

Roger Ebert said, "Movies don't change the world, but they have the power to change our individual lives."

So turn your phone off ,put your arm rests down, and be alone in the theater.

Drew Oliver

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