A movie, and appreciation

A movie, and appreciation

The other day was our anniversary, and coincidentally, my husband happened to get film festival tickets through work. Now. I think I had only been to a film festival movie twice before, but here are the things I learned through those two experiences:

1. Film festival movies can be quite artistic. On the plus side: beautiful; thought-provoking; gripping. On the “uh oh” side: graphic; hard to follow; heart-wrenching.

2. Often, the creators and actors are available and sometimes willing to interact. On the plus side: Wow! On the “uh oh” side: Oh my God, did the person I’m with just actually put their hand up and are they going to ask something dumb of the people who sweated their hearts out to make this movie?

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3. Sometimes people get dressed up at premieres. Sometimes they don’t. What to wear?

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So I did okay on point #3, although I was slightly overdressed and the only bra I had that went low enough in the middle for the cleavage of the dress happened to be blue even though the dress was black, so I had to tape the bra to the dress all over the place and then my hair kept getting stuck to the tape. Does this kind of thing happen to other people? Because it happens to me all the time.

Point #1 also worked out very well. The movie was Infinitely Polar Bear directed by Maya Forbes, starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana. It was autobiographical for Forbes — the story of her childhood with her bipolar father, which, if you only knew that much about this artistic movie, might lead you to believe that the movie would be heavy, dealing with the darker side of mental illness. In fact, the movie was the opposite. Although it didn’t shy away from portraying the challenges of children having a bipolar caregiver, the story was sweet and funny, showing the more loving side of living with someone dealing with mental illness. I loved it — all of the acting was superb, and I left feeling uplifted. No one would be dissatisfied going to the theatre and dropping $137 or whatever it is these days to see this movie.

But my reaction to the movie brings me to Point #2, and the reason I am bringing up this whole story at all. Maya Forbes spoke to introduce the film, and she stood with her daughter who brilliantly portrayed Maya in the film. Mark Ruffalo gave a little wave, but didn’t speak. They didn’t take questions, allowing me to heave a sigh of relief that my over-confident husband wouldn’t try to challenge them with some kind of wine-induced brilliance, as he did years ago when we ate at Chef Susur Lee’s restaurant “So let’s just say you’re hankering for a grilled cheese. What would you do?” Ans: “I would just … make one.” (I actually got a kick out of his question that time.)

But here was my issue with said husband and having watched a movie in the presence of its creators and actors. At the end of the film, which was thoroughly enjoyable and well-done — probably even Oscar-worthy — Maya Forbes, Mark Ruffalo, and Forbes’ uber-talented daughter, Imogene Wolodarsky, stood in the balcony and waved. Half of the theatre of probably three hundred people gave them a standing ovation. The other half, including my husband, clapped, but remained seated.

I mean, what the hell? Even if you didn’t think the film was one of the ten best you’ve ever seen, you’re too special to admit that it was good, and to show that you appreciated the creators’ efforts? Your tastes are so selective that you only ever would have taken the trouble to stand up for Citizen Kane, but since Orson Welles is dead, your knees will never have the enjoyment of straightening themselves in appreciation until the end of time?

Take opportunities to connect with people. Be grateful. I’m going to cook my husband liver for dinner tonight and see just how grateful he is for my creation. Maybe my beef bourguinon will get a standing O tomorrow night.

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