By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall July 27, 2009 at 2:11AM
Wherein I contradict my previous post with incredible nonchalance...
In the summer of 1982, I was an 11 year old kid in love with the movies. I also had a very unique opportunity to completely marinate myself in the films of the day; my parents were competitive bridge players and, it being 1982, they used to allow me to take my little brother and go sit in the movie theater for the entire day and watch the same film over and over again while they played cards. The theater people kept an eye on us and for the price of a single kid's admission to a film, we could stay and watch one movie three, sometimes four times in a row. Different era, clearly. My favorite theater at that age was the old Flint Cinema, a one screen monolith with 70mm capability that served up summer blockbusters all season long. In 1982, the movie that dominated my summer, the film that I absolutely could not get enough of, was Tron.
One otherwise forgotten afternoon that July, a friend and I got dropped off at the Flint Cinema to see Tron in 70mm*. When we entered the theater, it was empty; a weekday screening, first show of the day. We took two seats right in the middle of the theater, popcorn in hand, waiting for our minds to be blown. And then, without warning, a man sat next to my friend; there were at least 300 empty seats in the theater, but this man chose to sit next to us. He didn't say a word, just looked straight ahead at the screen. We laughed and got up and moved, but the man moved with us and sat next to my friend again. Shaken, we both got up and went to find theater staff to complain, but when we came back in, the man was gone. He did not return. We found our seats and, more than a little freaked out, watched Tron for three consectuive screenings.
Despite the creepy factor, one that continues to shape my feelings about where I sit in films and how much space I put between myself and strangers (answer: as much as possible), Tron remains a touchstone for me, the summer movie that made me aware of the world around me. I still love the film and remember throwing quarters into the subsequent video games (Tron and, more difficult and more fun, Discs of Tron) like they were going out of style (actually, they were). Seminal for me.
So, just moments after I published my last post decrying Comic-Con and how out of touch I had grown as an adult with the modern world of fantasy, big-budget cinema, I was directed to a little piece of viral video that gave me goosebumps and threw my entire premise into question; Tron Legacy has a trailer and it is amazing (be sure to watch in HD).
Ok, so that got me excited. I understand this is a visual effects test, a proof of concept. Case proven, I think (but then again, I was oh so very excited for Speed Racer, so I remain a little bit cautious). Clicking around to find more information, I read that French duo Daft Punk will be scoring the new film. Perfect! I cannot wait to take my son to the theater to see this. Once again, just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in! Damn you, creative geniuses! Anyway, if you're not a fan of (or familiar with) the original Tron, get caught up on the mystery. Can't wait for this one... I feel like a little kid all over again! Now, when will they be showcasing scenes from The Dark Crystal 2: The Power Of The Dark Crystal...??
*Tron was actually shot in 65mm 2.2:1 aspect ratio and blown up to 70mm. You can read the story of this process here.