Whether it’s with a friend, on a date, or just by myself escaping to the cinema and transporting myself into the world I’m watching on the big screen makes all my troubles disappear. On an episode of Three Way Theater Mikey criticized my enjoyment of going to the movies alone, but these days it’s my favorite way to experience certain films, especially ones I want to immerse myself into.
The Cable Car Cinema in Providence has become my new favorite destination for lesser known independent films, a laid back one screen art house with a cafe, delicious food, and comfy leather seats to relax in. While I’ll be the first to gush about IMAX and the ultimate theater experience there’s something to be said for lounging around and taking in a fílm (ya know, as opposed to The Avengers, or whatever blockbuster is screening in theaters).
Two movies I’ve seen at The Cable Car recently have sat with me, albeit for entirely different reasons.
The first I saw was Don’t Think Twice, a comedy written and directed by Mike Birbiglia about the life and relationships between an improv comedy troupe and their struggles trying to make it in New York. I was originally drawn to the movie because of my love for Gillian Jacobs, and after watching her Netflix series Love I was in serious need of a Gillian-fix. Thankfully the movie ended up screening at The Cable Car, otherwise I’d have had to watch Community for the 80th time.
While I don’t perform in an improv group, I have been performing in independent wrestling for nearly twenty years (!!) and was struck by the many similarities between the two disparate worlds. The old joke among my friends was that wrestlers, strippers, and stand-up comedians were all cut from the same cloth, and that theory absolutely holds true after watching these guys navigate through low-level success to making it to ‘the big-time’, in this case an SNL style sketch comedy show that is essentially their holy grail. And just like with wrestling some achieve the ultimate success, others opt for the road less traveled, and a few fade away completely. It’s a very funny and poignant look at the struggles of artists, so if you get the opportunity please seek this movie out!
American Honey is a new American classic, for me anyway. It’s a beautiful portrait of a new generation of kids and how they make their attempt at living ‘The American Dream’. Newcomer Sasha Lane brings an incredible raw energy to the role of Star, the girl swayed into joining Shia Labeouf into a mid-west trek selling magazines with an assortment of wayward rejects and lost souls living out hotel rooms and passenger vans.
I’m 34 so this isn’t my generation, but it still connects with me on a visceral level that I can’t seem to shake out of my head. I remember the first time I watched Kids, I was about 14 years old and was sucked into the world of these NYC teens smoking, fucking, and living their everyday lives. Now I was never Telly or Casper growing up, but that didn’t stop me from being able to connect with the story Harmony Korine was trying to tell.
Sasha Lane is amazing, the handheld cinematography is beautiful, and real-talk LaBeouf is truly fantastic. The soundtrack is also great, mixing in everything from rap to country to Bruce FN’ Springsteen.
Contrary to what some people might say, cinema is not dead.
Up next, my top movies of 2016!