August 28, 2023

happy national cinema day 🎦

I know that National Cinema Day is a marketing thing to get people in the door at large theater chains, but as a devoted, obsessive movie-goer, I wanted to use the occasion to highlight my NYC cinema favorites/worsts in the categories that matter most to me:

Best Repertory Programming 

Just went through and filled up my Fall movie calendar ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪

Best ~Experience~ for Big Blockbuster 

  • iPic Fulton

Worst audience

  • Metrograph


  • LOOK Dine-In Cinemas W57

Honorable mention: one of the best sources for upcoming celluloid screenings is Analog Film NYC. Doing the Lord's work! 


Video stores 

I happened to visit a much-loved video store in Atlanta yesterday, which made me realize the importance of movie rental stores for a healthy film ecosystem. My movie obsession was borne from several teenage summers of daily movie renting from Blockbuster; I inhaled as much movie as I could all summer long, and the video store enabled me in a cheap, accessible, as well as curated way. Because I currently have access to so many great movie theaters in NYC, I don't rely on a movie rental store, but I realized how important renting/buying home media is for further discovery and repeat viewing, as well as for creating a place to commune with others similarly fanatical. 
As I've shared before, we unfortunately cannot entrust streaming services as stewards of film preservation. My hope is that indie movie theaters and rental stores become treasured and thrive in the way we've seen happen with indie bookstores in recent years. Remember how many times it was predicted that Amazon was going to put indie bookstores out of business, which ultimately didn't and looks like it won't ever happen?
Despite how niche cinephilia can sometimes seem, most everyone watches movies on some level. Do I need to mention how streaming and production companies are eating their own faces right now? Perhaps these sacred film spaces being preserved would be a boon for anyone that likes movies, no matter how casually.

So, what's a girl to do, when all she wants is to visit an unassuming temple to film obsession? Enter Videodrome (or perhaps, "She enters Videodrome"):
A film devotee's paradise/mecca/holy place. I was beside myself with giddiness; it was both a funny, unserious place, yet somehow also a place for the ecstatic & divine:
I discovered SteelBook movie packaging, which I thought was fun:
note: Peter hosted a virtual screening of Lifeforce for a pandemic bday a couple years ago

and in the end walked away with Irma Vep (having seen it recently, in a screening that felt revelatory, at MoMA):

In sum, go to the cinema! But also visit rental stores, and rent/buy home media!