Night at the movies - Shawn Loughlin editorial
The other day, on a walk with Jess (and a sleeping Tallulah) we talked about filling The Citizen each week. I relayed an analogy to Jess that I had first used when talking to Publisher Deb Sholdice.
Before the pandemic, I said, Denny and I looked at each week’s issue as game one of the World Series. Your best pitcher is on the hill, your lineup is just the way you want it and you do everything you can to win. Knowing all of that, however, it takes four games to win the World Series, so there are always games two, three, four and beyond. Pandemic-era issues, however, feel like a game seven in extra innings every week with a starting pitcher on one day’s rest coming out of the bullpen, your back-up catcher playing right field and middle relievers pinch running for you - all to just not lose the game before the next inning.
The thing about a game seven is that there is no tomorrow. So, all the wild stuff you do isn’t going to matter in a few hours if you win the game, because you have the whole offseason to recuperate. You have to “leave it all out on the field” as they say.
We’re now on about our 55th game seven and we are always having to be creative.
Jess, always one to be helpful, said I should be writing about what I’ve been doing with my spare time lately: going back through old movies I’ve always wanted to watch.
The way I see it, I’m probably months away from losing the television for good, at least unless Tallulah is sleeping, until she’s in her teens, always out with her friends. So, now is ideal for working through that back catalogue.
While Jess’s suggestion of movie reviews didn’t exactly do it for me, it did make me think about my column and the role it plays in the lives of readers. With the newspaper, by necessity, so COVID-19-heavy, I thought I could provide a bit of a respite in this space.
A recent article about the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm said that, despite being filmed post-COVID-19, there would only be one episode that dealt with the virus. Creator and star Larry David (also the co-creator of Seinfeld) said, frankly, no one wants to watch a show all about COVID-19. And he’s right.
So, back to my roster of movies. This endeavour has ushered in an era of weird conversations when Jess comes downstairs to eat dinner after putting Tallulah to bed. All she wants to do is eat some dinner and head to bed, when all I want to do is talk about Gordon Willis’s cinematography, how good an actor Warren Beatty was in the 1970s, the beauty of a young Cybill Shepherd or Jane Fonda or Leonard Cohen’s music in McCabe and Mrs. Miller. There are the early, non-crazy Jack Nicholson performances, how weird David Lynch’s movies are and why, as Canadians, it is our patriotic duty to better appreciate David Cronenberg’s movie Scanners.
Funny enough, my cousin Mike seems to be on his own similar journey. So, when I push forward Sissy Spacek in Badlands, he’ll raise me Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I seem to be in the 1970s, while he’s in the 1950s and 1960s). Then there’s convincing Jess that Marlon Brando used to be the most handsome man in the history of civilization. Knowing only old, heavy and sweaty Brando, Jess needed A Streetcar Named Desire and On The Waterfront in her life to understand.
So, while I’ll spare you a thorough review of the beauty of Days of Heaven or the genius (and persistent relevance) of the film Nashville, they may pop up in future columns.
At least until it’s all Peppa Pig, all the time at the Loughlin house. It won’t be long now.