Thursday, July 10, 2008

A "happening"

Jennifer So I need to interrupt Joe's "Lord of the Moving Van" trilogy here to report a happening.

G. is attempting to start a movie club in the department, where we go see a movie in a theater once a month or so, because it's just fun to go to theaters. He has enjoyed the movies of M. Night Shyamalan in the past, so this week's email suggested that we go see "The Happening." So Joe and I met him and J., V., and another student from another department at the Royal 2 (which is the movie theater right underneath our old apartment on Dragarbrunnsgatan), at about 20:30 for a movie start time of 20:45.

When we went up to buy tickets, we were asked if we wanted seats "in the middle middle." I thought that maybe this meant there was a price difference in seats, but no: they ask where you want to sit because seating is assigned. Your ticket comes with a row and seat number on it. I don't know why this surprised me so much, but it really did. "Well of course there is assigned seating. This is Sweden," said V. But it was nice that we were able to get 7 seats together, and then he kindly reserved a seat for Z., who was running a little late, having accidently gone to the Royal 1 (fortunately only 3 blocks away). How much is one adult ticket? 90 SEK. I think we won't be doing this too much.

There was only one guy working there; after he sold us our tickets, he ran around the counter and put up a tape across the hallway leading from the entranceway to the theaters proper while he ran downstairs to the toa, then he came back up, took the tape down, and took our tickets right back. The Royal 2 is small; it has 4 theaters in it, each of which seat no more than 70 people. I have not been in such a small theater for a long time. In such a place, the "middle middle" is very close to the screen, and the other 10 or so people there were all behind us.

Therefore we had a completely unhindered view of the following: first, there were 12 minutes of TV-style commercials, for everything from soft drinks to women's undergarments to cell phones to bandages specially made for blisters you might get on your Achilles tendon. Then there were two short trailers, one of which was for "La Zona," which is in Spanish, therefore the Swedish subtitles helped more than usual (I actually did understand some of the subtitles—this trailer involved short, simple sentences). Then the movie started.

At morning fika, B. (who always has opinions about things, and is willing to share them) had expressed doubt about this movie, but said no more, and declined to join us. I had only heard the premise, and thought it could be good, and it was a social event, after all, so why not? 'Take a leap of faith,' I told myself, 'When's the last time you went to see a movie without reading lots of reviews? A long, long time. Go on. Do it. Don't think, just go, you'll be with friends, it'll be fun.'

Well, it was fun. I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time. As we were walking to the bus stop in Stora Torget, Joe said "That's the kind of movie that makes me want to be a movie reviewer," so I'll leave the official review to him.

We had a brief post-mortem outside the theater, where the evening air was warm and the sky still bright at 22:30. G., V., Z. and I discussed the possibility of trying to present a united front at tomorrow morning fika and convince B. that he should see this movie. Two problems: First, J. said G. is a terrible liar, and he agreed with her, that he could not say these things with a straight face. Second, I actually like B., and I would not wish this movie on my very worst enemy in the world.

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