Saturday, March 14, 2009
Lucky Friday the 13th
Lisa and I are among those few people who always seem to have good luck on Friday the 13th. The stage was set yesterday while I was walking Trudaloo, and we encountered a beautifully sleek and friendly large black cat that attempted to follow us home. Lisa has always said that I have a secret superpower to charm cats. All I know is that I've always felt a certain pull toward them, and they toward me. Maybe they're just hoping I'll drop dead, so they can eat me. Don't know. We got quite a few odd looks from people along the way, man and beagle being stalked panther-like at our heels by a big black slightly sinister cat on Friday the 13th. Really though, everyone should be used to the strangeness that surrounds the weird writer in their neighborhood by now.
We had a fabulous night planned, very appropriate for the special date. The New Parkway Theater in Minneapolis is running a 3D Film Festival , from March 3 to March 19, and Lisa and I were looking forward to a dazzling double-feature. As we purchased our tickets, and were handed the cardboard 3D glasses, I felt a nice little thrill as if we'd stepped back into the 1950s.
Parking had been a bit of a problem and the first feature, Gorilla at Large, had already started as we made our way into the old dark theater. Suddenly, a giant three-dimensional ape swung at us, clinging to a jungle vine magically suspended somewhere above and beyond the screen. Doesn't get much cooler than that. The movie was good corny fun. The gorilla suit looked great, practically bristling right in our faces (and Anne Bancroft's legs were a special effect in and of themselves). During the intermission, while they changed reels, Lisa noticed a boy about nine years old who seemed to be having a particularly good time. "This movie is so cool!" he told her, so excited that he was shaking.
When the lights dimmed for the second feature, House of Wax, the audience actually broke into applause when Vincent Price's name loomed at us from the dramatic opening credits. I confess to becoming a bit emotional, thinking quietly of Vincent and wondering what he'd think about still having such affectionate fans almost a decade into the 21st Century. Will movie crowds be cheering the names of Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise on the screen fifty years from now?
Next Wednesday Lisa and I will return to the Parkway for 3D screenings of Vincent Price in The Mad Magician and Alfred Hitchcock's Dial 'M' For Murder. I'm especially looking forward to experiencing Grace Kelly in three dimensions. Hopefully, we'll see you there, too.
Last evening will always be a special memory at the movies for me. I love these old films. There's something wonderful about looking back at a time when movie stars were bigger than life, before excessive gore replaced story and performance, when a guy in a gorilla suit was supposed to be scary. Somehow I really like that.
What makes me feel even better is that excited nine-year-old. I could tell the kid was having the time of his life, and that this would probably always be a special memory for him, too. At least, I sincerely hope it will be.
Suddenly, at least for the moment, I don't feel like weeping for the future.