A hundred minutes of solitude December 9, 2005Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
I remember now. I remember in the mist of that drunken haze what all that enthusiasm was about and why dashing to see a German film about Belarus was supposedly a blessing in disguise. What seemed such an amazing thought then, and a fairly average one now, is that it reminded me of the relative joy of going to the cinema alone.
It’s a tradition I began in earnest a couple of summers ago when the Russian was away for a stretch – I don’t mean in prison – but which had lapsed. On Tuesday, I was having a fairly boring evening at the computer, ignoring work and doing a bit of local blogging, and I came across this helpful site which recommended the film in question (there is a site after all) and I dashed out in time to catch the late, local viewing.
And going to the cinema alone is bliss. In fact, I find doing most things alone bliss. I turned up, got me a Baltika no. 3 (can’t compete with the local brews, of course, but for old times’ sake) and took my seat right at the front, which I can never do if I’m in company. The cinema is one of the few places you can go to alone without it being mortifyingly embarrassing. My sister once regaled me with how brave she’d been by going for a weekend to a different town and booking herself into a nice hotel and sitting at the bar. The fact that she rang me throughout the weekend made me think it wasn’t being such a success after all. “Are you sure folk don’t think you’re a prostitute?” I asked. (This at least made her laugh.)
But the cinema, au contraire, is fine on the solitude front. Maybe a few other cinema-goers think you’re a bit of a lonely loser, but I personally think they think you’re just a little bit interesting and exotic (although, admittedly, there wasn’t a stampede of folk desperate to introduce themselves when the lights came up). And it feels like a treat, uncoupling the film from a social event. If I’d gone with a friend, we’d have had to talk about the bastard afterwards and I’d have had to worry they had their bloody popcorn and we sat somewhere with a suitably obscured view. Whereas alone, I could slouch in my chair, swig at my beer, guffaw till my heart’s content and generally think cinema is SO a thing to do alone. (The ensuing binge-drinking, on the other hand…)