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After the Film

Friday, October 26, 2001

You walk out of the cinema and everything is changed. You entered the big boxy building in the light of an ordinary afternoon. But now it’s dark, and the city feels a little different. You wonder if what you’re seeing is actually there. Everything seems kind of real, but then you’ve just spent two hours believing what you saw, when you knew it wasn’t real.

You look harder, noticing things that you would have missed before in this stylized version of the familiar. The lights are brighter, the shadows more pronounced. You listen to the noise of the traffic, as it washes like waves on the walls of the buildings; you watch the forklifts loading bright boxes of veg as you walk past the wholesalers. Into a square and your eye pans across it, and then the focus pulls back to the office block at the far end. Now you cut to details of the halo round the top of a lampost, and you close in on the faces as people come out of the shining shop. 

You’re not just heading home, you’re walking down a street in a city on a specific evening, with the light just so, and particular cars driving past, individual noises reaching you, and so many different things all happening at once. You’re glad you went to the cinema on your own, because if you’d been talking about the film on the way home, or headed off for some drinks, your customary life would have intervened and you’d have missed all this wonder.

What’s the story? It’s like you’re in the movies. Or maybe the movies are in you.

Posted by David in • Square EyesFilm