Two new independent films opened last Friday in our town. When Comedy Went to School is a loving look at what became known as the “Borscht Belt.” A couple of counties in upstate New York became a vacation haven for mostly Jewish-Americans from New York City.
Over the years, we’ve all been down the yellow brick road. Most have first taken the journey via one of the many television broadcasts. Some have actually had that first experience in a movie theatre. And like all movies, there are those who love it, those who hate it, and many with childhood memories of being scared silly by either the flying monkeys or the gnarly talking apple trees. No matter your side of the fence, The Wizard of Oz is a true classic.
Ever since science fiction took off like a rocket at the movie box office in 1950, one of the favorite, and most feared, story lines was being lost in space, never to return to Planet Earth again. More often than not, these very low-budget astronauts were shot against cardboard sets, which occasionally moved when bumped into, almost never seemed to be without gravity of some sort keeping them upright and moving around, and only had a smattering of non-descript knobs to twiddle with. Yes, sixty-three years ago was the sci-fi Stone Age when it came to space travel in the movies.
Sometimes Hollywood is too quick on the trigger to do a film biography of someone famous. Such is the case with Jobs, the story of Steve Jobs, creator of the Apple computer and all the Apple products that followed. Granted, his drive and foresight changed the way we all live and work in the 21st century, but do we need a biopic about him already? Probably not, especially since his life, work, and death are freshly inscribed on our collective consciousness.
Back in the analog days, seeing a movie used to be so simple: you decide what you want to see, find out where it’s playing, and go see it. Choices were limited, but with a little detective work you might find something worth watching. Not all theatres played the same films at the same time.
Now with new technologies abounding, options are jumping at us from all corners of the media. Even watching movies on a three-inch iPhone or a ten-inch iPad doesn’t seem quite so hateful when you’re stuck in an airport with nothing better to do.