My wife and I watched “Before Midnight” (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy) last weekend and it reminded me how much I miss the art house movie scene. I had started to think great movies like “Before Midnight” just didn’t get made anymore. I certainly haven’t seen one in a long time.
But more likely the truth is that those movies just aren’t on my radar anymore. El Paso doesn’t have an art house theater. And even if it did, we’d never go because our daughter would hate anything playing there. (I actually paused once during Before Midnight just to laugh at how mad our daughter would be at the scene we were watching, which involved nothing but Hawke and Delpy talking in the car for about 15 minutes.)
Growing up in Lawrence, Kansas, I knew I could pretty much see anything at Liberty Hall and it would be good. Later, when my wife and I lived in Salem, Oregon, we had Salem Cinema for good art house movies. (Though for a while it was located underneath a parking garage, and in the middle of the movie you would suddenly hear the skateboarders coming down above you.)
In El Paso, you have to hope an independent movie gets big enough to be shown here, which doesn’t happen often. Or you can make your way up to the Fountain Theater in Mesilla, but that’s a long drive to do very often.
So, because I have been out of the art house scene for about … let’s see, how old is my daughter? … 11 years now, what other great movies have I missed? Let me know. Until then, I’ll be watching Before Midnight on repeat.
“Before Midnight” is the third part of a trilogy that started with “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset.” All three are great movies. What is it about trilogies that works so well?
Think of how Star Wars used to be great, back when it was a trilogy. Now it’s just a mess. There’s too much to it now. Should have stayed at 3.
Though some great concepts can’t quite make it to “great trilogy” status. R.Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” was amazing for the first hour and even the second hour. But when he came back a few years later with the third hour … ugh. “Trapped” was headed toward becoming a classic of western culture, but now we’re just left hoping he doesn’t try for a fourth hour.
- The 10 best films of 2013, No 6 – Before Midnight (theguardian.com)
- Top 10 films of 2013 (dailycal.org)