We change, you know.
We think the things we're doing will always be the things we're doing, but we change.
Sometimes even the things that don't seem to be changing, change. As an example, I've been a literary agent for over 25 years, but the job description within the job has changed multiple times. I've had the same job, two employers (one of them being myself), and probably close to half a dozen job descriptions.
But for me, there's one thing that hasn't, and that's going to the movies.
And the earliest movie that I can place seeing at a particular theatre dates back to when I was five. We saw Airport at Radio City Music Hall. Would my younger brother had been with a baby sitter? It's hard even to think about.
And since my parents didn't believe in film ratings and took us to everything... Deliverance at the Plaza Cinema, or stopping for Godfather, which I think we might have done as a side trip returning from visiting family in upstate New York.
Sleeper in Manhattan the next year. One show was sold out, we walked across town to another show that was sold out, and then back again to the original theatre.
I can remember the drive that seemed to last forever to see Earthquake in Sensurround at the Cinema 46 in Totowa, NJ.
Montclair, NJ over the holidays, to see Network, and then stopping by actual non-Jewish family friends to hang out around their Christmas tree afterwards.
Drives up to Monticello in 1977 to see The Spy Who Loved Me at the theatre downtown, or to see Star Wars at the theatre by the dying mall on the outskirts of town.
The Brinks Job at the Sack Cheri in 1979, which we would have seen the same weekend that I got those free samples of Omni from the Boskone dealer's room, setting me on my current path. So the thing to remember here is that I have movie-going memories that date back almost seven years further than the career path.
No, I can't remember every single movie I saw, and I couldn't tell you which theatre I went to for every single movie I can remember seeing.
But think about your own life, and ask yourself what are the things you can still remember from when you were in kindergarten, and the things that you can remember from 40 years ago.
That's the movies, for me. The thing I've been doing, memorably and enjoyably doing, for longer than anything.
And hey, take a screen shot, print out the blog, in a few decades when I'm closing in on 90, let's see if I can remember the first batch of movies for this weekend, Filling the Void and 20 Feet From Stardom at the Kew Gardens Cinema. And bonus credit if I can remember that Filling the Void was on Screen 3, which is the big one at this cinema.
Pauline Kael I'm not. I haven't lost it at the movies, not yet at least. But I promise to keep trying.
- The Brillig Blogger
- A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.