It’s a good and bad time to be in Los Angeles in December. It’s good because I have no fewer than 10 movies to see between now and the end of the year and most of them are already playing here. I been able to see “Up in the Air” and “The Road”, even though they won’t get to most places for a few weeks. I got to see “Antichrist” and review it as it was finishing its run here and it won’t ever play in much of the rest of the country. The major downside is that movies are expensive out here. Gone are the days of $5 shows during the middle of the week at AMC. $9 is about as cheap as it gets. $18 or so if I’m seeing IMAX movies in 3D (For “Avatar, I may just be willing to pay that, too).
So here’s my list to see from now til year’s end:
The Last Station
The Princess and the Frog
The Lovely Bones
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasus
The White Ribbon
As well, there are loads of classic movies playing all over the place. Seeing “Lawrence of Arabia” on the big screen was a truly amazing experience. 2000 people watching one of the most gorgeously photographed movies of all time. The theater honored the intermission in the middle of the film. Even though the movie and its character keep us at arm’s length, I felt like I was seeing the movie for the first time. I know lots of people who would rather wait for movies on DVD, but even with as big a screen as that allows these days, there is no substitute for the big screen, for the atmosphere, for the communal, enriching experience of seeing something breathtaking with strangers who, for a few hours don’t seem like strangers anymore.
There are shitty things about Los Angeles, too.
Most people who live here are like me, which means they aren’t from here, which means since it’s Christmas, they’re all leaving. This would be fine any other time. Driving, parking, and getting around will be a breeze. Yes, but all of my friends are going home for Christmas, so where am I trying to get in such a rush? I suppose I’ll be able to get all my Christmas shopping done easily. I still need to think of gifts for my sister and parents.
Literally, every one of my friends is leaving for Christmas. I’m not. As I’ve said, this will be my first Christmas away from home, though I’ll be with family. But that’s one day. For about two weeks, I’ll be left to my own devices. There won’t be much background work (if any) because all the shows are on break for Christmas and New Year’s. And so what oh what will I do with myself? I’ve got writing to do, sure. I’ll read. I’ll venture out to some movies by myself, and I plan to catch up on the rest of season 5 of “LOST.”
I should be used to the solitude, I should welcome it. In Kansas City, it was my norm. And in many ways, I am looking forward to it. As Woody Allen might say, I’ll be spending the holidays with someone I love.
The one other thing I might change is snow. For all its hassle and annoyance, I miss playing in the snow.