In which I come to the conclusion that I am severely out-of-place

"Ah, 'Children of Men.' Fantastic film. It's set in this bleak, not-too-distant future in which women have grown infertile. This guy, Clive Owen's character, finds himself mixed up with a group of freedom fighters who have discovered the first pregnant girl in 18 years. Basically, the film follows this guy as he tries to get this girl safely to a group known as 'The Human Project,' who are essentially trying to save the human race from extinction. Anyway, the film is really cool, visually speaking. There's this awesome tracking shot near the end, where Clive Owen's character is running through this city, and there's shells going off all around, gunfire everywhere. People are getting mowed down right in front of him. By the end, there's blood and dirt on the camera lens and everything. It's just phenomenal."

The customer stares at me blankly for a moment. "Uh ... thanks. When is it due?"

"Wednesday. Have a nice night."

I've come to the unfortunate realization that I am, for lack of a better phrase, out-of-place in my current setting. That's not to say that I'm inherently smarter than everyone around me; it's just that, when it comes to film, my tastes are very particular. And, well, I'm passionate. People look at me funny when I talk movies -- I think I get too excited. I talk fast, I make wild motions with my hands. I think it's safe to say that people might find me odd and somewhat frightening when I launch into tirades and renounce horror cinema and things like that. It's weird.

It's rare that I find someone equally as passionate about cinema -- to the point where, when I do meet a fellow cinephile, it's severely jarring, and I don't quite know how to react. I might happen into a conversation about foreign films, and find myself at a loss for words.

"I really love 'Amelie,'" they say.

"Yeah," I reply. "'Amelie' is good, but it's almost too likeable. My favorite foreign film, hands down, is '8 1/2.'" I anticipate the inevitable "I've never heard of that," but it doesn't come. I'm fully prepared to explain to them the sheer genius of the opening dream sequence, and how the portrayal of Guido as a kite is perhaps one of my favorite moments in all of cinema, but there's no need.

"Oh, the Fellini film. I prefer 'La Dolce Vita.'"

And I stand there, like an idiot, completely dumbfounded that someone besides me has even heard of Frederico Fellini.

Honestly, I think I sell people short. I'm so accustomed to dealing with people who know little about film as an art form, that I simply assume I'm an island among men -- alone devoted in my craft. But I forget that there's plenty of cinephiles out there, thousands of them infinitely more knowledgeable and aware than me.

But through my job, and dealing with people on a retail level, I've come to regard myself as a sort of dying breed; not a simple movie buff, per se, but the true appreciator of the art of cinema. Few people rent from the foreign language section, fewer still browse the classics. Hell, a vast majority of my customers have never even watched a film released before their birth.

But I take pride in my passion. And despite the odd looks given me as I berate my manager for liking "The Lake House," I like the fact that I have something so dear to me as to illicit such a reaction. And even though it always surprises me, coming across a fellow cinephile is always a treat.

So, yeah, I'm out-of-place. But I kinda like it here. It's nice and roomy.


  1. This is a nice change of perspective from your usual "If I'm the only one that thinks this way, why am I becoming a movie reviewer?"-question the meaning of Matt's life reaction that you have to being cooler than the vast majority of society.

    Also, I think it's "per se" and not "per say." I do believe it's Latin.

    Anyways, I thought this was great. Well-written and interesting. Your voice somehow came through differently in this entry in a good way. I think it's because it's the first personal entry (personal being the opposite of a movie review) you've done in a long time that isn't pissed off at humanity. It's reflective and insightful.

    Now that I've finished trying to explain to you and myself what I loved about this, I'm going to go to bed.

  2. Thanks, babe! Yeah, I was liking it as I wrote it too. It made me feel happy. I suppose I sort of came to the realization as I was writing it that I wasn't alone in my passion, and that I really only feel out-of-place most of the time.

    And I fixed the typo. Thanks for pointing that out.

    A year of Latin = useless, apparently.


All comments are strictly moderated by this blog's administrator. Obscene, hateful, or otherwise offensive comments will not be tolerated. Racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks have no place on this blog. Spam will be promptly reported and deleted. For more information on R#09's moderation policies, please check the FAQs.