Any cineaste worth his salty popcorn knows the legend of the Lumiere brothers’ 1895 short Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat, one of the first films ever screened. (Back in 1895, they preferred titles to tell it like it is — no fancy-pants The Upside Of Anger or Broken Flowers.) The Parisian audience settled into their seats awaiting a charming new form of entertainment and, as said train arrived at the aforementioned station, they collectively jumped up and bolted out of the theater for fear of being run over.
I used to think Britney Spears was a secret genius.
An auspicious debut, her famous “virginity,” the Timberlake chronicles, a well-timed smooch with Madonna — it was all so masterfully plotted, so expertly timed to keep her in the limelight. She had to be pretty crafty to map this meteoric rise to the top of the teen pop pantheon (and the world!), right? Yes — and I admired her for it.
It’s dawn. I haven’t slept in two days. Still, I’ve managed to look my best in designer jeans and a button-down, hair mussed just so, sipping a trendy energy drink and sporting sunglasses even before the sun has fully risen.
On any other day, it’d be safe to assume that I’m on drugs — but I’m not.
The weather outside is frightful — and indoors, it’s not much better. I sleep in two, sometimes three layers; I huddle under blankets in front of the TV; I wear a jacket 24/7. I’m chilled to the bone, wondering why mankind never caught on to hibernation or migration. I could so go for a three-month siesta in a cozy cave somewhere… maybe a seasonal jaunt to the Equator…
But we humans devised our own system to endure the dead of winter: holidays, on which we gather loved ones to take in the heat of camaraderie. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s — is it a mere coincidence that all these take place during the chilliest months? Don’t think so. It’s by design.
We’d never make it through the winter without loved ones gathered around the fire, the distractions of food and presents, the rum we secretly spike our egg nog with. Spring, oh glorious spring, is just around the corner — along with sunlight, and warmth — and we’ve got one last holiday to cozy up with before we get there. The one that warms our hearts most of all.
From The Vault: My first “Confessions Of A Dangerous Film Student” column for INsite Boston, originally published April 2005. (As usual, these pieces serve as an interesting time capsule. The point I made is still as true as ever, while nearly all the bad movies I mention have been completely forgotten. As well they should have been.)
From the Vault: I wrote the column “Confessions of a Dangerous Film Student” for INsite Boston magazine from 2005-2007.
Yeah… that was a long time ago. Those were the days before internet streaming and BluRay, so a lot of the material is dated. Funny how things change. The following column captures the shift in the last decade between TV being strictly appointment viewing to the ability to watch your shows whenever and wherever you want.