One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is never having to pay to see a movie. There’s always a schlub standing at the farmer’s market begging passer-bys to see the new flick starring Jude Law and one of the guys from American Pie. The only downside is you have to wait in line to see the movie for 45 minutes or so.
Last Tuesday night my brother and I ate some pupusas before getting in line outside the LA Film School to see Zombieland (which sounds like a parody of a movie title). We got there an hour before the movie was to start. The time went by quickly as my brother ran into an old neighbor of his and they had time to discuss the souldraining downside of working as production assistants for reality television. But inches from getting in we were told the theater had reached its capacity. Another hour of my life wasted.
My brother and I walked back to his car. I suggested we cut through the Arclight movie theater. Many argue that this is the finest movie theater in the world. It better be since they charge a mindnumbing $14.50 for a seat on Friday and Saturday nights. The place always gives me the creeps. I have heard rumors it is owned by Scientologists and the employees and atmosphere does have a cult-like aura. But still I suggested the detour because I have seen some of the most beautiful women in the galaxy in their lobby. I have also seen Ted Danson, Matthew Perry, and Jason Lee there, who I am certain their mothers find to be among the most beautiful people in the world.
We enter and are immediately accosted by beautiful women. They asked me the question I was longing for.
“Would you like to see a free movie?”
Not just any movie, mind you, the new Coen brothers movie, A Serious Man. A movie I was, gulp, actually willing to pay to see. We get to our seats. Part of the “luxury” of this theater is assigned seating. The movie begins.
I will not include spoilers, as this movie has yet to come out in much of the country, but it is amazing. You will laugh and fret and wonder what the hell it all means. Admittedly, I am biased. I think the Coen Brothers are the most gifted directors in the history of cinema. They have earned enough good will with me that at this point they could splatter fertilizer of the screen and I would watch it drip for two hours and yell “Bravo, sirs, bravo.” Another slight warning is this is the most Jewish movie ever created. Every character save two Korean stereotypes and an anti-semitic neighbor is circumcised or has a father that was.
As the credits rolled I couldn’t wait to talk about it, but I noticed no one was leaving their seats. Something was up. I asked the guy next to me, “Are they having a Q and A?”
“Who? Is it the Coen brothers?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
I couldn’t believe my luck. If we ate our pupusas a little quicker we’d be listening to the creators of Zombieland. There is a reason for everything.
The lights came on. A bearded man sat in a folding chair with a backdrop advertising the trade paper, Variety. He turned on the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce….. Adam Arkin.”
I recognize him from being in about three scenes of the movie. After a couple questions about having a famous father in Alan Arkin and how he got his start acting in Happy Days and Hawaii Five-o, I figured there was nothing to gain from his wisdom. We left the theater and were handed a flyer to come back Thursday to see a new movie co-written by Adam Sandler.