I am a cinemaddict. I came across this term a few months ago reading Agee on Film, and I realized that it perfectly encapsulates the kind of person I am. Not that James Agee used it in quite the same way I’m using it now. Agee used it to describe all serious film fans, but to me, it’s something much more nuanced. It’s not merely someone who prefers a Michael Curtiz movie to a Michael Bay movie. It’s something much, much scarier.
We travel half way across a city to sit for an hour and a half in an uncomfortable chair watching an obscure, incomprehensible avant-garde film and walk out with a drunken smile and the word “masterpiece” stinking on our breath. We’ve arrived early in the morning for a day long marathon of movies nominated for Best Picture, despite the fact that we don’t really care for the Academy Awards, and emerge past midnight, malnourished and drenched in popcorn grease and body odor. We’ve gotten into screaming fights about what the greatest Christmas movie is. We’ve eaten more movie theater hot dogs than we care to admit. We’re as much monsters as we are critics. Monsters, just like the ones on the screen, constantly devouring everything we can, and never really knowing why.
We may not be dangers to ourselves or society, but we are addicts, and just like other addicts, we only feel truly at home when we’re feeding our habit. I sit in a dark theater, and everything else just fades. To someone like me, there is no drug that can do what a movie does. What better way to forget a bad day than Singin’ in the Rain? Is there a better way to remind yourself that, disenfranchised as you may be, you life could be worse than Rome: Open City? Escape, catharsis, reaffirmation: the movies give us each and all of these. Most people casually go through life, only needing a quick beer after work to get by. The cinemaddicts, though, need the cinema.
This blog is a chronicle of my addiction.