Feeding my Film Obsession
Much of last week consisted mostly of stressing and reading various chapters in Italian. After finishing my midterms it was time to get back to the normal pace of school. Therefore, on the school front I have nothing new or exciting to report on. However, I wish to talk about my experience at the cinema. I absolutely love the cinema. One of my favorite things to do is go to the movie theaters and watch the latest film. Cinematography in general has always been something that has captured my attention, even as a little girl watching Disney classics on my VHS. Therefore, being on the other side of the world wasn’t going to stop me from catching all the films I was looking forward to.
I spent the majority of my summer vacation watching various films made available near me. I even went to watch documentaries! So yeah, I love films and the movie-going experience. Fortunately, my roommate’s sister is just like me so my roommate is used to watching all types of movies and enjoys the experience as well. So I didn’t have to worry about finding a movie buddy in Italy. Even if I didn’t have a movie buddy I would still go to the cinema alone. Back in America, when I can’t get anyone to go with me to watch a certain film, I will go alone without a problem. I learned years ago that it is better to go alone than to wait for someone to go with me. Luckily, I had someone to go with me and talk about the film afterwards.
First American Film in Italian
I thought finding a movie theater would be a very difficult task. However, it was easier than I had anticipated. There were several options that weren’t too far from home. The proximity gave my roommate and I a sense of comfort in the sense that we knew we could go to a late night screening and wouldn’t have to worry about finding a way back home. Most of the theaters are at a walking distance from us and Milan is a very active city at all times, so we weren’t worried. That being said, we are lucky to live in a big city such as Milan. I was worried that it would be difficult to find certain films while abroad. However, as I quickly discovered, most films are made available pretty quickly.
The first film I saw abroad was The Incredibles 2. I had already seen it back home in the states with my siblings. However, I wanted to see how well I would understand a film in Italian without any subtitles. Therefore, my roommate and I decided it would be easier to test the waters with a film we had already seen. Fortunately, we had both taken an Italian Cinema course in our home university. Our professor did not add English subtitles to the films, rather he added Italian subtitles. We were accustomed to falling back on reading the subtitles if we happened to miss anything, in this case we could not fall back on that. It wasn’t difficult at all to understand for me. I was also pleasantly surprised that the jokes translated pretty well.
The Theater Experience
The theater itself was nothing extraordinary. The only thing that really threw me off was the intervalo. I had no idea that Italian theaters had a five minute intermission for every film. The first time we went to watch The Incredibles 2 we were very confused when the film abruptly stopped. Everyone else got up from their seats and headed out, that just added to the confusion. It wasn’t until the screen projected the words “intervalo” that we understood it was a bathroom break. This isn’t something I had seen being done at movie theaters. I have seen this before but during the opera or a play, never at the cinema. It is a very smart idea since I have found myself in a situation where I needed a bathroom break but I didn’t want to miss the movie.
Another interesting difference is the way seats are arranged. In San Diego there are only a select few theaters that require an assigned seat. Usually, it is on a first come first serve bases, so if you are there earlier you get the seats you want. However, the theaters that do require assigned seating allow you to choose which seat you want to sit at. Even in Mexico it is done the same way, you pick the seats you want. I have been to three different movie theaters in Milan, and all of them do this process in a different way than the US. When you buy your ticket at the box office, the person at the box office chooses your seats for you. Fortunately, we have gotten good seats every time, but I did find it odd that we were not allowed to choose where to sit.
Saturday Night Horror
All of this brings me to what I originally wanted to talk about, Halloween. Yesterday my roommate and I went to watch the revival of the horror classic, Halloween. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to see it in English, and that I had to wait an extra week to watch it since it came out a week later than in the USA. However, that did not take away from the film. I am a huge fan of John Carpenter’s Halloween, so I had high hopes for this film. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. I didn’t get the same fear that I felt when I watched the first Halloween. I don’t get scared as easily anymore so the impact just isn’t the same. However, the chills I felt when John Carpenter’s Halloween Theme song starts playing and Michael Myers gets ready to kill someone didn’t change.
I love films, so being in a different country was not going to stop me. Even if the films are in a different language I will watch them. It may seem crazy, but it is one of my favorite activities. The joy I feel while watching a movie, even bad films, is indescribable. Continuing my movie-going habits, is my way of keeping a small piece of home with me.