One of the principles The Spinchoon is built on is that people suck. We have all had that night that was planned out when suddenly everyone bailed. Maybe that one friend got called into work. Maybe that second friend bailed on plans for a girl or guy that he or she is interested in (PC statements are exhausting to write out. Don’t you agree?). Maybe you can only take that third friend in small doses so you need one of the other two around and you bailed. In that case, YOU suck. Seeing as how you too are a person, this should have been self-evident. I digress. My point is, I’m not one to have my night soured by others. Thus, “Movie Night With Myself” was born.
It was gloomy and rainy 6th of April, 2007.* Everyone had bailed on our plans that evening for one reason or another. A secondary twist of fate would have it that I had the house entirely to myself this evening. It didn’t take long for me to come up with a plan B. Get a pizza, rent a movie, crank up the surround sound, and dive into the backlog.
If you’re like me then you have a backlog of movies at the ready. Filled with a combination of classics and personal interests, the list never actually gets smaller. For each film you take in, another 2 seem to take its place. Lucky for me, I had a key hookup. I spent a lot of time in Blockbuster that year (and many others). A couple of my friends worked there and I worked at the pizzeria so we had a nice little bartering system in place. I think it’s safe to say that the path between Big Al’s and Blockbuster was the greatest trade route since The Silk Road.
Even though I already had my selection in mind for this perfect evening, I decided to still partake in “The Ritual”. Let me pause for a second for those of you born after ‘96. You know how you scroll through every single movie on Netflix before making a pick (falling asleep)? That is the digital version of “The Ritual”. Everyone had their own method. Personally, I would take the outer wall. I skim the new releases and Blockbuster exclusives (lol). I would then zig zag through the aisles of genres scanning every movie in each row, the whole time adjusting and readjusting the backlog.
Along “The Ritual” I spotted my predetermined selection. However, I decided to double down that evening. I skipped the rental and went straight for the purchase. I wasn’t just checking a film off my backlog. I was adding it to my coveted collection (now over 400 and still growing strong). What I didn’t realize was that this film was going to make it onto my shortlist. An instant classic, and one that has stuck with me ever since: The Boondock Saints. I love everything about that movie. Eventually, it will make its way into an episode of Flix and a 6 down the line. At that point, I will give it the review that it deserves, (short, sharp breath that makes you concerned for my health) but it’s not the one it needs right now.
I picked up my pizza and headed back home. I grabbed a slice, set the lighting just right, and turned the surround sound up to the perfect level. I even went as far as to adjust the picture settings on the TV until they were just right. Let’s not get hung up on the fact that thus far I approached the evening with the meticulousness of a serial killer. The point is, I didn’t have to be concerned with anyone else at the time. This was my movie night, with me. All of this set the stage that allowed me to take in the film without my perspective influenced by the perspective of others. This is a big change of pace for me. I love nothing more than going to see a movie with friends, and then standing in the parking lot and pulling apart every detail. I love hearing how someone else interprets a story. I love even more when they make me realize something that I didn’t, or better yet, wouldn’t get from my angle. Until that night, that is how it always was.
I learned a lot about what’s important to me in a film that night. I learned how much I focus on cinematography. I discovered how the delivery of dialogue is as crucial as the arrangement of the words themselves. I established new ways to analyze and appreciate movies on new levels. This happens each time I get to have one of these nights. The last one I had included a viewing of John Wick, where I learned how to appreciate the beautiful and impressive art of world building.
The movie night with myself is not something I do often. Doing it often would cheapen the experience. What’s more, I never actually plan it ahead of time. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a plan B. Its always there as an option and it’s super achievable, especially with a backlog of movies like mine. If movies are not for you I encourage you to find your own thing (I also encourage you to GTFO. Seriously, what’s wrong with you). Find something you love that you mostly share with others, and enjoy it by yourself. Take your next night of plans that falls through and turn it into an opportunity for self-discovery. You’ll learn a lot.
*The date, time, and weather are neither accurate nor relevant. Just felt right.