bill_schubert

I rather enjoyed knowing less

When I was a good deal younger I had a summer job in South Carolina on the loading dock of a textile mill (my father was Pres of the company, lived in NYC, and arranged the job).  I was 16 and lived by myself in a room of a nice elderly lady.  Most of my meals were taken at a local diner (back when I really did not pay much attention to food other than filling myself up when I got hungry).  And I went to the movies.

There was no Internet.  Computers were huge mainframes.  Gates was still in high school.

I saw the movie Z and the movie Easy Rider without knowing anything about them at all.  No social media buzz.  No review.  No 'no spoilers in this' clips to see.  Just the title and, in the case of Easy Rider, the people in them.  I did know that Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were in it.  There were newspapers then.

The downside of seeing a movie in that fashion is that it requires at least one other viewing to get the subtext, the idea behind the idea, the nuances of film and sound and another look at the hookers and the mesh stockings.

The advantage of seeing it that was is the impact is there.  There is no prejudgment, no foreshadowing other than what the film makers put in, no expectations.  Just let it wash over.  

A few years later I saw Apocalypse Now in the same fashion.  I knew nothing about it other than it was a war movie (which it really is not) and it had a lot of buzz.  I'd been a Doors fan and a TS Elliot and Heart of Darkness fan for ages and I will never again have a feeling like the first 10 minutes of the movie.  The visuals and The End and then the realization that the movie was based on Heart of Darkness was overwhelming.  Had I known ahead of time it would have been OK.  But to walk into that fiery jungle with Morrison moaning in the background and no one else to tell me what was going to happen next was a seminal experience for me.  And I was straight at the time.

I miss not knowing everything.  I miss not being told what to think, what is the latest, latest thing.  I miss primary experiences.  

Whining, I know.  I LOVE having the world at my finger tips.  But I miss being surprised 


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