I don’t really care if movie theaters never open again. I’ve spent more than half my life working in theaters and the truth is that they are a hell unlike any other job in the service industry. I’ve outlined a lot of this before and I won’t go into all the details here again, but just know that having to serve food, beer, and movies all at the same time is the worst combination I can think of outside of maybe working in a baby rattle factory by day and digging graves by night. I know people love to say insane things like, “Oh, but there’s nothing like the theatre experience!” and they’re right. There really is nothing like it. It’s the fucking worst. You can keep it.
Not only that, but how I feel personally about this is worthless because theaters aren’t coming back anyway. They’re screwed. 2020 was already on track to be the worst year in over a decade as far as box office was concerned, so now that literally zero movies are opening for months and months in a row, that’s pretty much that. At least one of the Big Three had enough cash on-hand to last them until around August. It’s now mid-May and, for anyone paying attention, the writing’s already on the wall. I see news every other day now screaming about which gigantic devil-worshipping conglomerate or how many blood-drinking billionaires are about to team up to buy the chains. One day soon those stories will take their inevitable turn and the sales will have gone through. We’re already on the other side of this. Time doesn’t matter anymore. At all.
And let’s be clear on something else, too: Christopher Nolan is an idiot and a sociopath. For this guy to be positioning himself as the next Marty with all his alleged work with film preservation and this and that, it’s not at all shocking that we now see press releases stating that theaters want to reopen in time for the mid-July release of Tenet. Dude was in it for himself all along. He wants to “preserve the theatrical experience.” Well then why wasn’t he falling all over himself trying to unlock the theatre doors for the release of Trolls World Tour or something? He’s a fraud and a con artist and he should be tried for war crimes. Fuck him.
When the lockdown started, I found it liberating. I watched movies, planned things, read books, and did all the things I said I would always do if I ever had the time. Then the depression dropped. Entire days and weeks have been lost to wells of paranoia, sobbing, and fear. It felt like it would never end and I lived every day with an absolute certainty that I would catch the Virus and that it would kill me very quickly. I would die alone in this house and no one would even know. I was convinced of this. As R. Crumb said, “I had a full-on nervous breakdown, the classic story, you’ve heard it all before.”
But recently I think I’ve come out the other side of that. I’m sure the longer the isolation goes on, there will be bouts of darkness again, but for the time being I’m back to being energized and on track with things. I re-watched The Sopranos, Mad Men, and am now halfway through The Wire because I’m still having trouble paying attention to movies. Maybe because they feel like work, like I should be writing if I’m watching, now that I have nothing else to do. But I just can’t. I made time to throw on the Summer of Sam and Golem blu rays that came in the mail but beyond that it’s been mostly TV shows I’ve already seen lately.
I’ve also been reading a lot of comics. I’ve been in the process of moving (long story – my living situation has both changed dramatically and not at all – I’ll probably write more about that later) and pulling out boxes and rummaging through everything. I got out all my Chris Wares and all the old Fantagraphics and stuff like that from high school and have been diving back in. And watching a lot of artist documentaries in the background. And been drawing. It’s been good. I started working on an illustrated movie review zine that, as of now, is sort of a one-off thing, so those are just for me. I have a complicated feeling about comics and illustrations when it comes to zines, so we’ll see how far I actually go with this project. As it is, I don’t have a working printer right now so I couldn’t mass produce these fuckers even if I wanted to. Not only that but I have this really great habit of starting really ambitious projects that go nowhere. Again, we’ll see.
Mostly I’m dreading having to go back to work. Ever. I know that’s something else that seems to be an oddity, and it’s honestly very confusing to me. Who likes work?? I don’t get it. Work is shit! We should all be watching movies and making art all day. I don’t really get what the big fuss is about this whole “work” thing.
So I haven’t been reviewing movies. I’ll get back to it soon. I know as I write this that it’s mostly for myself, to prove that I can still get thoughts out semi-coherently. Organize things a little. You know. But it’ll come. I need to figure out where my head is. Most of the new releases I see coming out on streaming services look like absolute shit, anyway. I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t even going to watch new releases this year so that’s not even it. It’s just that watching and paying attention is still incredibly difficult. But as soon as I get my brain back, I’ll get back to writing for real.
In the meantime, I have some interesting life things happening. Some scary, some strange, some sad, and some exciting and good. Things that were on hold for way too long seem to have sprung right back into action, and things that felt like they were my entire reason for living have simply vanished. And there are so many projects that seem to be up in the air all at once that just thinking about them gives me a headache, but I know that once those are in place life will seem normal again. It was always chaos. Now it’s just very slow chaos. So, like I said, my head is sort of still spinning a little. But I’ve decided that it’s all good stuff. It sort of has to be. The great stuff is already making the more depressing and dark sides of things melt away day by day. It’s time to move on and move forward. I know this is ending on somewhat of a goofy tone, but whatever. Fuck Christopher Nolan.