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People For Watching

February 28, 2008   Three days ago I watched Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier, and Vic Morrow in Blackboard Jungle.  Yesterday I watched Howard Hawks directing Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford in Today We Live.  Both times I viewed these films with a group of friends.  Neither of these movies are particularly good, but for some people there is an abiding love of cinema in all its forms.  Plus, Today We Live was written by William Faulkner. 

And there is an audience.  We were able to sit in a room, with a school-provided projector, and just watch a movie that most would never care to watch.  We watch for the one or two brilliant shots, the occasional flicker of genuine emotional investment, and the cultural artifact of an America before the Sixties (if the Sixties can be said to be the liminal point).  I can imagine no other place in my life, past or future, where such a kinship could emerge so organically.  While a major advantage of college is the diversity of thought, lifestyle, taste, and background, another is the simple ability to find people with whom to watch boiler-plate studio Hollywood pictures.