We saw Inception last night. But don’t worry, this post has nothing to do with the movie. There will be no spoilers.
It was a sold-out show. This happens frequently in NYC. People still go to theaters to see movies. Theaters are often full weeks after a film’s release date. I love this about living here. I enjoy a full theater.
So, we all hunker down with our popcorn and buckets of soda readying ourselves for the ride, a great adventure. That’s the thing with great films: if it’s good, time stops entirely. Nothing else matters. The outside world is forgotten. The city falls away. The only thing that matters—the only thing that exists—are the people around you and the world you’re about to enter together. This is why I see films. To exit life for a while.
I even love the coming attractions. They’re appetizers, whetting our appetite in preparation for the upcoming feast. If the production company does it right, the coming attractions become a part of the overall experience.
And last night they did it right.
The first preview drops us off inside the lobby of a busy office building.
The typography reads:
ON ANY ORDINARY DAY
OUR LIVES ARE FILLED
WITH CHANCE ENCOUNTERS
AND RANDOM EVENTS
A man rushes toward the closing doors of an elevator. There are four people inside. Another man interrupts the doors with a slide of his hand. Pleasantries are exchanged.
The screen goes black.
We enter from above, through the air vents of the roof of the same building, down, down, down into one of its elevator shafts.
FOR A REASON
Suddenly the elevator starts to shake. The lights flicker. Everyone looks worried. Concern grows. The screen goes black. We hear people shrieking. A woman’s, terrified voice says, “What’s happening?” She gasps. No one knows what’s going on. When the lights come on again, her back is bloody. The woman has been bitten. Or so she says.
Someone suggests they search pockets. Trust falls away. The woman grows increasingly more agitated.
The theater—all of us—are captivated. You could have heard an M&M drop. No one says a word.
ONE OF THESE FIVE PEOPLE
Sounds boom! Lights flash. Music soars! More loud noise! The woman who is bitten lashes out, “Don’t come near me—any of you!”
WHO THEY APPEAR TO BE.
I look over at Toby with a huge grin, a grin that has come to mean, “I can’t wait to see this movie!”
Screen cuts back and forth between blackness and scenes of people screaming, crawling around terrified. More screams. The music builds. Everyone us is silent. Anticipation. Goosebumps.
I think: I wish we were seeing this film! RIGHT NOW!
FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES
COMES A NEW NIGHTMARE
(OMG YES! YES! NIGHTMARES ARE AWESOME!)
FROM THE MIND OF
M NIGHT SHYAMALAN
It’s as if someone poked a hole in the theater’s collective bubble of anticipation, sending our minds zipping through the aisles like a thousand erratic balloons.
Everyone lets out one long, collective groan. This could not have been planned or choreographed better.
And then, just like someone accidentally farting during sex, the theater erupts in laughter—big, boisterous laughter. The end of the trailer continues, but no one is paying attention.
This is why I go see movies.