My purpose with this blog is to talk movies. My movies, certainly, but also other people’s movies. And you gotta understand, that is not as easy as I would like it to be living here in La Paz. So I’ll probably spend more time bitching about things than anything else.
It isn’t easy. This city, by my count, has 15 movie screens. That’s one more than the Regal Cinemas on Steinway St. Of those, 8 are first-run movie houses, 6 are dives that reek of rotten tangerines and show films that have been out for years; and one is a run down porn palace. That may sound perfectly picturesque to some of you, but it is maddening and infuriating beyond belief for me. I’d like to tell you that I’m like Colin Firth in Apartment Zero romancing movies in a dynamic Latin American metropolis. But, most of the time, I just feel like Hart Bochner at the end of that same movie – an unwilling dinner guest in a meal of Hell.
La Paz once had in excess of 30 movie theaters… The old kind, with the great big screens and balcony seating. But now, most of those have been appropriated by The Church of MC 900 Ft. Jesus or whatever the fuck they’re called. It matters not. I stick with the Anglicans thank you very much.
My point is, there are 8 screens available in which to see new movies. 7, actually. Because Cine 6 de Agosto has been undergoing renovation for what seems like fucking eons. Those 7 screens are spread over three theaters. One of them is the Cinemateca Boliviana (Cinematheque being the key word in this hypocrisy), which is a brand-new, beautiful triplex funded in part by the Chinese government and several banks and International financiers. I know this because there are plaques on the backs of each seat testifying as much. I once sat in a chair paid for by Natwest. It was a comfortable 2 hours.
But I digress… CB is an “arthouse” meant to showcase quality cinema.
Except, right now, Cinema 1 is showing 21. Not the Russian one, the one with Kevin Spacey about a bunch of assholes counting cards in Vegas. Cinema 2 is showing a terrible Bolivian film called Dia de boda (which translates into The Wedding Day) and Cinema 3 is showcasing Speed Racer - dubbed into Spanish.
But, whatever. It’s a cool hangout. I saw Cloverfield and American Gangster there. I enjoyed both films. And the coffee shop on the third floor has nice things to eat.
The remaining 4 screens are reserved for the two more “mainstream” movie houses. The ones that, in difference to the Cinemateca, choose to show more commercial fare to attract the popcorn crowd: 16 de Julio and Monje Campero. Right now, two of those screens are showing Indiana Jones y el reino de la calavera de cristal. The other two have Street Kings and Mr. Woodcock.
Well… I already saw the new Indy. So, I guess that does it. Right? What am I supposed to do? Watch Kevin Spacey count cards while overacting? Kate Bosworth’s PG-13 sex scene? I saw the trailer. So… I’ve seen that movie. Speed Racer in Spanish? It would be hard enough to get me to sit through that shit in English! Sorry. But there isn’t enough good pot in all the world to get that to happen. And why bother sitting in a theater watching Mr. Woodcock, when I can find it on the street for the equivalent of 75 cents and watch it at home the next time I feel like spending 100 minutes in complete misery.
Ditto Street Kings.
Anyway, it will be hard to post up-to-date reviews of good movies that come out. So, this blog will alternate between my commenting about some noteworthy movie I just saw now because my DVD street vendor scored me a bootleg, and my posting random anecdotes regarding life in La Paz, Bolivia – while trying to release my own movie and working with my band and all that. (I won’t self-promote THAT much. But I will give info about my movie and music. That’s what blogs are for.)
I’ll try to keep it as interesting as possible. So, if that’s your cup of tea, by all means tune in.
Oh, what the hell… I guess I’ll go see Street Kings.