Hopeful anticipation

I was gonna write about the Crazy Palins (which is what they should’ve called that show on TLC), but I figured you’re probably just as tired of hearing about them as I am.  And, I wouldn’t think about them that often, except they have saturated the media market with their ubiquity and they’re like an honest-to-God train wreck.  You can’t look away.  And, even if you could look away, you’d still want to know what happened, so you’d try and find more about it.

So, I decided to ask my wife what to write about.  And, to “paraquote” the brilliant Aaron Sorkin…”I must tell you my wife warned me … And nearly every time I don’t listen to her, I get in trouble for it.”  As it happens, we were sort of on the same wavelength regarding this evening’s post which concerns the anticipation of films and the culture that has changed that anticipation.

First off, let me say this, we’re going to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 tomorrow evening and I’m looking forward to this film like I haven’t any other in quite some time.  Once I accepted the challenge of reading the Harry Potter books, I became a disciple of Rowling and devoured them quickly and with much haste.  I have a favorite character (Nymphadora Tonks) and while I don’t dress up, I think I’d look pretty awesome in a Hogwarts uni.  Anyway, the point of this is to say that we’re both excited about going.  But, anticipation of films has changed over the years.

I remember back in 1997, I got up before dawn and took the day off work to go stand in line to see Star Wars on the big screen at Showcase Cinemas.  I was at least 35 people from the front (which means there are about 34 nerdier people than me in this city), but we all raced in when the door opened and got our favorite seats.  By the time Attack of the Clones rolled around 5 years later, the Internet was in full swing and, in addition to the websites and chat room rumors, the theatres had added midnight showings.  I was still getting up at dawn to go see the films, while all the real nerds had seen it the night before, plus, I was getting the day off work.  I was even on TV before Revenge of the Sith because I was a one-man line before the sun came up for that film.  I guess they thought that there would be a bigger crowd.  Now, with Harry Potter, we went to the midnight show of the first one, The Sorcerer’s Stone, but since then we’ve tapered off and gone to a more reasonably timed showing sometimes not even on opening weekend *gasp!* Also, my wife has assumed the nerd mantle for the Harry Potter films by re-reading each book before the movie comes out.  Even at this very moment, she is frantically attempting to finish at least the first half of the book before tomorrow’s show.  I’d call her out on it, but I totally understand.

Certainly the culture surrounding impending films has changed.  Websites, multiple movie trailers that are practically mini-films themselves, midnight showings, leaks on the Internet, etc.  all of these are things that just simply did not exist a few years ago.   Yet, somehow, I think maybe the anticipation of films has heightened in some way.  It’s as though with access to more information and the possibility of spoilers, it makes the film that much more exciting, which seems to be a contradiction of itself, but still, somehow, true.

Anyway, are you excited to see Harry Potter?  Could you care less, maybe?  Is there a film you can’t wait to see, particularly this holiday season which is usually a great time for film releases?  Was there a film that you couldn’t wait to see and then when you did were not as excited as you might have been?  These are burning questions that the Conspiracy of Happiness seeks answers to so don’t be shy…let me know.

See you in the funny papers!

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2 thoughts on “Hopeful anticipation

  1. To this day, I still get goosebumps while anticipating the opening credits of a film at the theatre. My father always remarked how the attitude towards dressing up when you fly on an airliner went the way of the dodo bird, and no one cares anymore. The mystique is gone. I’ m sure folks feel the same way about going to the movies. It’s just something you do all the time, no big deal. Well, it’s a huge deal. Movie theaters still have that spark and sparkle for me. I’m about to experience something magical, so larger than life, literally.

    My older brother took me to see “Earthquake” at the Vogue Theatre when I was a kid. All the seats were wired to shake and rumble in sync with the film’s action….I was hooked. Disney films, Star Wars, Superman, Airplane. Edge of my seat stuff. First movie date at Showcase. Lost Boys with only one other person in the whole theatre. Gremlins, when my date walked out because she was so scared. Really? Opening night for Purple Rain . Sneaking in the exit door when a friend held it open from the inside. My first venture to the movies all by myself…1992, a Tom Clancy film at a dollar theatre in NC.

    I’ve never really been disappointed at the theatre, because it’s just so amazing to be there. Oops, I take that back. The one film which had me looking at my watch the whole time…”Beverly Hills Cop III.” I’ve seen every Harry Potter film at the theatre, and am anticipating this one like no one’s business.

    I’m sorry, what was the question? Love you guys!!!!

  2. Even though I adore the movie experience, I have a fatal flaw. Let’s count the number of times I’ve fallen asleep in the theater.
    1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    2. Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers
    3. King Kong (I woke up when they got to the island – didn’t miss a thing!)
    4. Pokemon (I’m so glad I fell asleep. That was THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE. When my 6-year-old cousin looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “That was the best movie I’ve ever seen,” I was like, “huh?”

    Note that the first three films are incredibly loud. I can’t fall asleep in my own damn bed, but I can sleep through a loud movie like nobody’s business.

    See, my favorite part of the whole experience is the anticipation. The excited buzz. It’s my favorite emotion. It’s why I love the month of December (Christmas is coming!) and I never try to guess when someone tells me they know a secret. Those sweet, sweet moments of oh-my-god-this-is-going-to-be-AWESOME are like chocolate and coffee to me.

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