When filmmakers make movies, they’re almost always created with the idea that audiences will see them in a theatre. By seeing a movie in the theatre, you’re seeing it in a setting that’s arranged for optimal enjoyment, the way the creators intended. Sound means more, panoramic views have more weight, and audience reaction is palpable. This is something that dawned on me late last year. There’s no denying the creature comforts of sitting in your own sofa with nobody else around, but I contend that there’s something lost in translation. After all, the best televisions are trying to replicate what you get in the cinema. And yet, the overwhelming majority of films are viewed at home. In 2012, I’ve sought to rectify this by finding films that I’d seen at home and checking them out on the big screen to see how much more enjoyment I would get. It’s become a challenge for me, with a personal goal of 15 to 25 classic or non-new release films on the big screen in 2012. I’ve had an awful lot of fun doing it. And now, I’m hoping to spread this joy around a little.
Allow me to introduce The Big Screen Challenge. Here’s how you can participate.
That’s it. It’s easy as pie. The second step is the important one. I happen to live in a major metropolitan area that has many options for classic films on the big screen, but I understand that not everyone has that sort of access. I’d hate to restrict anyone based on their surroundings. If you can realistically only get to two classic or non-new release screenings, then set that goal and knock it out. If you have the desire to see a lot and happen to live somewhere like New York or Los Angeles, then aim for 20. The rules are completely adjustable to your life and your enthusiasm about the project. The bottom line is that I’m having enough fun with it that I feel obligated to share.
As for me, I’m up to eight at this point, having just seen A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More as part of a double feature a few days ago. The rest of the list for 2012: Psycho, North by Northwest, Barton Fink, François Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black, The Quiet Man, and The Last Waltz. In nearly every instance, I’d seen the film previously at home, and wound up enjoying it more on the big screen. Coming soon, I’ll have chances to see The Grapes of Wrath, Taxi Driver, and The Godfather, all before the end of April. Needless to say, I’m thrilled at the proposition of enjoying those movies in new and exciting ways, and seeing them the way John Ford, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola intended me to see their films.
Who’s with me?