I think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends. Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their busy celluloid digesting day.
By Joshua Miller: Facebook Page
Last Night’s Audience For Buster Keaton’s The Boat.
As has often been said on CHUD (by me and others), one of the best things about living in LA is the wealth of revival theater experiences available on a daily basis. The only downside is that, overtime, this wealth has served to highlight to me that no one gives a shit about older films, unless they hold some nostalgic value. For example, a while back I went to a screening of the absurd Nintendo-tie-in curio, The Wizard, at the New Beverly Cinema. The screening was completely sold out. Around the same time I went to a double feature of Key Largo and Treasure of the Sierra Madre at the same theater. Let’s just say I had my pick of where I wanted to sit.
Now I realize people have busy schedules, etc. I certainly don’t make it out to the theaters as much as I’d like. Sometimes sitting lazily at home feels like the best fucking thing imaginable. But there are 9 million people living in Los Angeles County. 9 million. That’s roughly the population of Norway and Finland combined. Let’s just say that even out of 9 million there are only 100,000 film nerds – it still seems kinda crazy to me that you could show Treasure of the Sierra Madre on the big screen and only have like twenty people present. It irks my cinema sensibilities.
But last night I was at The Cinefamily (part of LA’s Triumvirate of amazing revival theaters). I wasn’t there to see a movie. I was partaking in a programming meeting for Friday Night Frights, the horror movies series I co-host at the theater. When I left the upstairs office, I was stopped by the sound of laughter coming from inside the theater. This of course made me curious what film was playing. To my great surprise I opened the doors to discover Buster Keaton’s short film The Boat on the screen (with a live organist accompanying the film, no less). The theater, unsurprisingly, was not full. But the crowd was laughing their asses off. I decided I had to sit down and bask in the moment.
I love Buster Keaton. And I like The Boat. But really I was watching the crowd. I realized I had grown somewhat cynical. I was thinking purely in numbers of butts in seats when I bitched about the poor showings at older films. I was going glass half-empty. Here was a half-full house of people, loving the ever-loving hell out of a ninety-year-old film. That’s great! That’s something. That gives me warm fuzzies.
So, for revitalizing my faith in film fans, I am thankful for last night’s audience for Buster Keaton’s The Boat.