Have double features in New York City--and, by extension, everywhere in the world--always been this way? Because it doesn't make sense to me. I wanted to catch last night's delicious double bill of HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (7:15) and HUSBANDS AND WIVES (9:20), but when I arrived at the theatre, there was already a ridiculously long 'standby' line. Which didn't make sense to me. That's because in my head the double feature theory has always worked like this: there's a matinee double feature and an evening double feature. If you want to see both films, you show up at three and buy a ticket for HANNAH, then stick around for the five o'clock HUSBANDS. And if you work during the day, you buy a ticket for the 7:15 HANNAH, then stick around for the 9:20 HUSBANDS. But here's how the system really works: WHICHEVER show you buy a ticket for, you are allowed to stick around for the next screening. But that makes no sense to me. Because, that meant that at seven o'clock, the theatre was waiting for the five o'clock HUSBANDS to get out to see how many people left and how many people stuck around. Chances are, 90% of those who bought tickets for the five o'clock film were going to stay for the 7:15. So, let's say twelve seats had opened up. That would mean that the first twelve people in the standby line could buy a ticket, enabling them to double up with the 9:20 film. Which left however many seats (90%) open for the 9:20 HANNAH. But if you only were able to buy a ticket for the 9:20 HANNAH, then your only option is one movie in that case, and the whole concept of a double feature has been nullified. Am I missing something here? Doesn't it make sense to have a daytime and a nighttime double feature? Otherwise things get way too complicated. Seriously, am I missing something?
For the record, the IFC Center works the same way, so if you're going to take advantage of the insanely amazing Altman retrospective that starts today--which you better do or you might as well give up on Earth completely--then I advise you to plan accordingly. (Note: this will be the first time I've gotten to see BREWSTER MCCLOUD, A WEDDING, and VINCENT & THEO on the big screen!)
I drank rather heavily on New Year's Eve, which set me up for what I thought was going to be the best New Year's Day EVER: hungover on my buddy Jane's couch (aka, the brilliant editor of SILVER JEW), watching at least the first four episodes of "The Wire: Season 4" through HBO On Demand. Just two days before, I confirmed that the entire season was, in fact, available to view. But on the head-pounding walk from Park Slope to Fort Greene ("cheap champagne/you hurt my brain"), a thought flashed into my head. It was this: "Man, it would be really lame if I got there and all of a sudden it was no longer an On Demand option anymore." But then I thought, "No, the world isn't that cosmically cruel. Of course it will be there. Why wouldn't it be there?" Well, I don't know why it wouldn't be there, but it wasn't there. It wasn't there at all, and there's no sign of it coming back. The DVD doesn't even have an official release. Perhaps I can get funky and DVR the episodes if they show them on HBO14 or whatever, but that doesn't erase the New Year's Day disappointment. Instead, I watched all four hours of WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE, which was a tiny bit uneven, but when it worked it really worked (chapter three, the more personal and emotional section, was by far my favorite). Though I'm still trying to figure out why they started a four-hour magnum opus quoting and interviewing some dorky blogger from Notre Dame who had no connection to anything. Is it just me or was that a very strange/inappropriate way to begin a film of that magnitude?
We all know that Pitchfork can be embarrassingly snobby, but their interviews and guest lists are always intriguing (that's because the artists are the ones talking, not the nerdy writers). This week has been especially good. Check out James Mercer's interview about the upcoming Shins record. I especially liked this bit of philosophizing:
"There are a lot of different subjects I've been dealing with on the record, but one theme is that having convictions, having certitude, just leads to trouble. And if people simply allowed for the possibility that they were wrong-- if everybody did that-- there would probably never be another war. If you just did that one fucking thing. But of course it would require everyone doing that, but it's a funny idea, or an interesting thing to me at least-- that a simple little thing of just questioning yourself would save the world."
Then comes a Guest List from Kevin Barnes, who is about to take the world by tornado when Of Montreal's "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" is officially released on January 23rd (ironically enough, on the same day that the Shins' "Wincing the Night Away" drops--talk about a good day for fans of MELODY). It was the summer of 1997 in Athens, Georgia, when I first met Kevin. We were tennis buddies for a whole summer before I even knew he was a musician. Then I saw Of Montreal play the night before I left town, where I got my hands on a pre-release copy of "Cherry Peel." It's funny, but without having known Kevin was a musical genius, I knew he was some sort of genius. He just had an air about him. Not in an intimidating, pretentious way. He just had something. An "inner light," you say? Sha-boing! But seriously, folks, Kevin is one of the few people I know who I would call a genius--perhaps the only one. And he's nice enough that it doesn't make you want to hang yourself--or punch him in the face--because of it. So buy the new record. It's staggeringly good.
Why am I wasting so much time writing this post? I should be in bed. I'm tired and sore. I'm a blue collar worker. Though tonight I was a filmmaker, showing SILVER JEW to a trio of very special eyes. Fortunately, those eyes liked what they saw. I'm working on a trailer, so you guys can get a glimpse of the magic sooner than later. Blah-blah-blah.
And if you live in New York and you don't attend this, then what are you doing here, huh???