Saying Goodbye to the Cinema for Some Time…

Cinemagoer smiles…

A post shared by James Clayton (@jamazingclayton) on

Movies! I love ’em and I write about them. Some writing about movies would be this week’s Den of Geek column: an exploration of the Taken movie series in which I discuss the films’ thematic concerns with wish-fulfilment and how they expound the ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ maxim. There’s also some stuff about vigilante cinema and a few photos of Liam Neeson looking moody as a bonus.

And that’s that. There’ll be no more Den of Geek articles for a while. That makes me a bit sad because I like writing Den of Geek articles full of personal gushing, offbeat references and spurious film theory. “Why no more?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you why: in a shade under a fortnight I’m flying off to lands afar and that means that I probably won’t be able to turn in a weekly piece. Even if I could find the time and space to knock out columns, they probably wouldn’t be very relevant because I’m going to be out of the moviescene loop and not watching a lot of new films.

If I find good Italian cinemas that put on VO (versione originale) screenings in Milano (that’s where I’m going) then I will be catching a few fresh blockbusters. In spite of that, I know I’m not going to be getting to the pictures as much and I’ve absorbed the idea that it could be an age before I sit in a cinema again. I take on that kind of view every time I go away to Italy for an extended period and it’s totally cool. I’m not hurt or damaged in any way and, if anything. “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.* Even so, the basic notion of ‘you ain’t going to the cinema, man’ is a bit of an odd one to my mind – a mind conditioned by habit and that’s heavily shaped by years of cinematic obsession.

Right now – less than a fortnight from departure – I’m in a weird place where everything feels extra significant and where I’m really savouring everything I’m about to leave for a while (stuff that just isn’t in Italy). That includes and is not limited to my family (available on Skype), British accents and dialect and curry. Movies are also a really important, ritualised thing to me so I’m currently cramming in as many visits to the cinema as possible before I go for months without frequenting any moviehouses.

Altogether, I could be missing very many awesome films set to come out soon so I’ve inured myself to the hype, excitement and intensive interest. I’m now only really psyched about the films I’m going to see before I travel, plus Avengers: Age of Ultron (which I hope to catch) and Star Wars VII at Christmas (which I will catch ’cause nothing is going to keep me away from Star Wars and I will move planets to catch it on the first day). It’s not so bad, because I’ve already seen the film of the year (Birdman) and because I’ve got great real-life adventures to occupy my imagination (an imagination that relies on very-regular cinema trips for stimulation). If it comes down to a crude choice of ‘La Dolce Vita in Italia for Real’ and ‘Escapism and Fictional Friends For a Couple Of Hours in a Dark Theatre’ I’ll take the former, ta muchly. Still, I’m going to miss getting my movie fix (and my family and the sound of British speech and curry).

So yeah: that’s a cinema aficionado, film studies student and obsessed movie geek saying “Goodbye, darling!” to one of his favourite things for a while. These things aren’t hardship or epic tragedies or anything like that. If anything, it just re-enforces that you should appreciate what you have and live in the moment. I’ll now wrap this up and appreciate the moments I have left in the UK. Some of those moments will be in the cinema…

* Get me when I’m feeling really maudlin and I’ll tell you about the time I was stuck in hospital and couldn’t get out to the cinema then finally got out to the flicks and cried all the way through Real Steel because it was just the most beautiful experience…

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  1. Carl Willington

     /  April 21, 2015

    Big time movie fan here who recently moved to Milan – please tell me you found a cinema that will be showing Avengers Age Of Ultron in its original version – ie English. It’s either that or I fly back to the UK for the weekend and that is so not cost effective.
    I hope and pray that your response is good news!
    Carl The Movie Fan

    • Hey Carl! I sympathise and really hope that you can get to see Age of Ultron. The bad news is that I didn’t get to see any English language films in the cinema while I was in Italy. It was brutal. The only two things I watched over the course of three months was Kung Fu Panda on DVD and The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a cult independent cinema – and the latter was the full interactive ‘Midnight Movie’ experience with crowd participation.

      There are three cinemas in Milan that have an original version programme running and each week it’s a different film screened on a particular day (depending on the cinema). Unfortunately, the films are ones that came out a few months previously so when I was in the city I would’ve been seeing films I’d already seen in the UK! No Age of Ultron then, but here’s the ‘Sound and Motion Pictures’ programme which is soon going to change over to the summer season…

      Personally, I’m just glad I’m in the UK and can get to the flicks on Thursday to see it. Thinking it over, I would probably fly to another country to see Avengers and I am even more sure that I’d fly across galaxies to catch Star Wars VII. I think this is what they call love. Anyway, as I say, I really hope you find it. Keep on searching, true believer! 😀

      • Carl Willington

         /  April 22, 2015

        Thanks for the reply – I’ve managed to find a cinema showing Avengers in English but I have to wait until next Wednesday – to ordinary people whose love for movies isn’t as deep as mine, this isn’t s big deal – to me this is a long wait and it means avoiding certain websites so I avoid spoilers! As for Star Wars – I have booked flights back to the UK as I have a nine year old brother who I promised will be going on opening day – the promise of Han Solo Captaining the Falcon alone makes the flight home a no brainer.
        If you ever come back to this neck of the woods then give me a shout!

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