the movies

The Berkshire Belle and I have been together for just over 33 years now, and we have done many things together over that time. We’ve holidayed in four countries, crossed the Atlantic more than 100 times, owned property abroad, eaten in some of the finest restaurants, been to the theatre and to some big gigs, but we have, as yet, not been to the pictures together.

We have come close a couple of times, both in the USA. Once, at a Gulf Coast shopping mall that included a cinema complex, we misread the posters as we walked in from the car park and the film that we fancied wasn’t on until the following week. The other time was down Fort Lauderdale way where we were passing a drive in movie theatre on a daily basis. One night they were due to show Grease and we thought that it would be a bit of fun, but a thunderstorm cancelled the showing. C’est la vie.

And so we haven’t been as yet, and I doubt that we will now having heard from friends and family the sort of behaviour that seems to prevail in such places now. The other likely deterrent is the sort of films that are on release: There is little that appeals to us.

We have seen a number of films that have been released since we got together, but only on TV. Mostly these have been romantic comedies; the Bridgit Jones films, Four Weddings and a Bus Garage (or whatever it was) and so on, plus all of the Harry Potter series as a few examples. But mostly our film watching involves films from before we got together and often from our respective teenage years through the fifties and sixties.

Some that is nostalgia, but more of it is about style and wit. These days it seems that if there is no violence or sex every couple of minutes the audience can’t cope. There is little sign of witty dialogue nor that other quality of silence where the images are allowed to tell the story. We will take a British 1950s B movie over pretty much any contemporary film. But that’s OK, we understand that we are not the audience that movie makers are targeting these days.

That is how the world works. Time passes and things change. When I talk to the youngsters at work their idea of entertainment is so different in the same way that my parents could not understand, or enjoy, the things that I liked in my teens. I would not have wanted them to: It was the kiss of death if my Mother said that she quite liked a song that was one of my favourites. The perennial generation gap is one of the things that moves the world along.

I have lived through several phases of the generation gap from childhood to being a great-grandparent(I might even have great-great-grandchildren – I’m not in touch with some of my offspring). The world is theirs now and they are welcome to it. I am fortunate enough to have the love of a good woman and can enjoy what time we have left. Will we ever get to a movie theatre together? Probably not, but we are, in some ways, still behaving like teenagers in love and maybe on one of our US trips we might just get to do a drive-in movie. Like they used to in the movies. That could be fun.

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