Sunday, August 5, 2007

Watching Movies Alone

-Originally posted Monday, February 26, 2007

The other night, inspired by My Best Fiend, I watched Woyzeck, a 1979 Werner Herzog film starring the ever-deranged Klaus Kinski. It's about a low-level soldier in a small early-nineteenth century town whose mind deteriorates, possibly from a crude medical experiment and possibly from jealousy, so that he is driven to...Well you should see the movie. I found it haunting and poetic (Kinski's Woyzeck may be mad, but he speaks in a sort of lunatic reverie that is poetry compared with the rationalist gobbledygook that surrounds him), so I was rather disappointed when G., with whom I was watching the movie, fell asleep about half-way through. It may have had something to do with the fact that she was sick, but wasn't that why I had suggested we rent a movie on a Saturday night in the first place?

I'm joking, but I always feel somewhat offended when someone falls asleep during a movie I'm really into, and I seem to have a bit of a history of it. There was this summer, when I explained to one of my best friends that 8 1/2 was possibly the greatest movie I had ever seen (I had just seen it for the first time a few weeks before) and that we had to rent it immediately, only for him to fall asleep about halfway through.

There was last spring, when my girlfriend was visiting me in Paris and she didn't want to go out and I told her that was fine because she had to see Godard's Bande a Part. She didn't even make it to the Billy the Kid spoof scene. Then there was last New Years, when I was visiting said girlfriend in North Carolina and she wanted to rent a movie for the third time in one weekend and I conceded to getting something called Russian Ark that she suggested instead of the French New Wave film I had been meaning to see. Russian Ark turned out to be an amazing and baffling movie, shot in a single, beautiful, time-warping, two-hour-long take in St. Petersburg's Winter Palace, which I was very glad to see, but which my girlfriend fell asleep about halfway through.

Maybe the earliest example is seventh grade, when I had a bunch of friends over and I suggested we watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, and one of my best middle-school friends fell asleep halfway through.

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