There have been many times I’ve gone to the theater and felt only the enjoyment of another night spent out doing something I loved doing. And I do mean many. I’ve been to the theater about a million times. I remember as a child on winter days when the snow wouldn’t allow us to go to school (Much to my excitement) we’d occasionally go see movies. Sadly, I can only remember going to see Beethoven. You know, that ridiculous movie with the dog who gets into all sorts of mischievous adventures…Well, then I’m sure you remember the completely unnecessary millions of sequels afterward…Yeah, I saw those too…I was a child.
Either way, from there my love for the movies began to grow and grow. Much like Scorsese I was a sick child and had to spend a lot of my time inside watching movies, instead of outside bird dogging chicks…and things of that sort. Not to compare myself to the likes of him but it did make me smile knowing we shared similar childhoods. Instead I stayed inside and watched E.T. a million times over until I’d all but memorized every line. Which in turn, upon finally getting my driver’s license, transformed my quiet little nerdy self into a movie fanatic, or more so a theater fanatic. Even if you’re simply seeing a no brains required action flick or fart filled comedy, I still enjoy myself because I’m at the fucking theater man! All the bullshit out there is gone. I’m surrounded by four sound proof (Or mostly cause I can definitely hear the Michael “I don’t know how to tell a story, so I blow shit up to make up for it” Bay movie in the next theater over.) walls, darkness and that flickering light that is playing in the back of the room. I’m in Heaven!
Though, on occasion I go see a movie that grabs hold of me long past the glow of that flickering lights been extinguished. Like for instance when I saw in one year, “The Assassination of Jesse James: By the Coward Robert Ford” which held me it’s soulful portrayal of a life given up in its final 20 minutes, or “There Will Be Blood” when Daniel Day Lewis again captured my imagination on the darker side of humanity, or “No Country For Old Men”, that brilliantly quiet and matter of fact retelling of a classic story, or “Children of Men” who’s gritty and VERY human look at the future held me in its beauty long after the credits had passed my eyes a goodbye, or (And you’re gonna mock me for this) “Juno”, when I quite plainly fell in love with Ellen Page and fell in love with an admittedly overtly quirky but honest look at young love. All of those movies in their own ways grabbed hold of me and held me in those little sound proof walls long after I had walked out in to the unforgiving daylight.
And so I went, last year at this time to see the American “remake” (Though upon doing research I found they were both started in some form of production close to the same time. So, it’s hard to call it a remake. Either way it holds little importance at this time) of “Let The Right One In”. Which if you haven’t seen, I highly recommend the Swedish version of the film. A movie that upon its inception and upon watching its first trailer, I was highly anticipating. And so I went to see “American Remake” or so I thought. In a day and age when Hollywood films have all but given up on originality dipping their pens into the remake, reimagining, TV show or comic book pool far too much. And instead of a dumbed down Americanized version of a brilliant and heartbreaking story I was instead treated to a beautiful and heartbreaking film of almost the same if not better caliber. From the performances of child actors Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smitt Mcphee to the direction to the already brilliant writing of John Lindqvist, the writer of the Swedish novel. But it wasn’t just the mere technical aspects. In fact it wasn’t that at all. I must give them credit but what made the experience and the hundreds of experiences before like it, was that as soon as the film ended. I didn’t stand up and walk out. Hell, I didn’t even say a word. I sat motionless in a dark room and watched names appear before me praying that the feeling I had and the world that was put through didn’t disappear as soon as I walked out of that room. And it didn’t. I ended up seeing the film another time two days later by myself while bored to death on a Sunday. And then I bought the film’s soundtrack not only because it was brilliant but because it was one small piece of the magic of that experience. That experience that you’ll forever try to chase if only to bring back that first time.
Like a drug you watch it again and again trying to get that same feeling. Chasing down that feeling only getting halves, quarters, fourths of its true power that once affected you so perfectly, so brilliantly so long ago. And so we litter our rooms with posters and our bodies with t-shirts of our favorite movies hoping to remind ourselves of that first time magic. That feeling of being dropped off in another world of someone else’s imagining. To experience it completely and utterly and to never quite gain it back.
That is why we go to the movies. Or at least that’s why I do. Because yes the world is beautiful and so on and so forth but sometimes you can’t see that until you see it through somebody else’s eyes. You forget it. You see it and then it goes and then somebody opens up a new world to you and you hop in without the realization that the entire time it’s all the same. It sounds confusing and weird and most likely I’m taking something rather simple and making it complex. But it’s how I must explain it to you. Through bits and pieces of choppy sentences leading nowhere that hopefully by the end it leave you with something you couldn’t quite see before.
-Chad Foltz is a Midwestern man with a heart of gold. Hear for yourself.