In 2006, during a showing of Brokeback Mountain there, I couldn’t see who was schtupping whom. In 2008, I got the impression that Julie and Julia was a black comedy (Nora Ephorn’s darkest!) about the perils of moonlighting. And most recently, The Social Network came across as an exciting if moody parable about the challenges presented by low lighting in Ivy League schools.
Every two to three years, eyes rechecked by competent professionals, I return to the local movie triplex, Fairview 3, with the hope that the projectors have been repaired and set at maximum wattage, the Windex taken out of the utility closet— that someone had finally been able to convince the owners that they were ruining some of the best (or better) commercial films of the decade with their inadequately illuminated film projection. But, as a recent trip proved, plus ca change….the light bulb.
The owners of Fairview 3 should head down to Time and Space Limited for some tips on how to present good movies, not only because of the nonprofit’s increasingly interesting lineup but also for the successful way in which it seems to have fixed its own projection issues. (These might have stemmed from its switch to digital a few years back.)
A recent showing of Howl, with its beautiful performance by James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, was a memorable confluence of appreciative audience and rewarding (if flawed) little film, which looked gorgeous on the TSL screen. A real cinematic experience (and not some faint simulacrum), it left everyone with the kind of buzz I haven’t noticed from a movie audience in a long time. Just getting the basics right can give you a real kick. –Scott Baldinger