Friday Night Seitz
Writers and filmmakers recall the sights, sounds and feelings that stay with them long after the lights come up
“The Thing,” 1982
Theater unknown (Times Square), New York City
I’m only guessing in saying that the evening began with Popeye’s fried chicken and Budweiser, but it’s a good guess. In the long-gone days when Times Square was decrepit, dangerous and ringed with cockroach-infested, odoriferous theaters showing all grades of violent or pornographic cinema, my best friend and I made numerous opening-night pilgrimages there, mostly for horror films. The degree of talk-back and the atmosphere of incipient danger made almost every Times Square viewing experience memorable, but none stands out as clearly as watching John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” which was both an early-’80s special-effects landmark and also one of the tensest, most electrified horror movies of that era.
If the original 1951 “Thing From Another World” is largely understood as Cold War allegory, it’d be stretching a point to sense a political motivation in Carpenter’s remake (despite his clear leftist leanings in other films). But it’s ominous, claustrophobic, wintry and scary as shit — all leading up to that incredibly tense scene when the trapped Antarctic scientists agree to undergo blood tests with a live electric wire, to determine which of them is the eponymous shape-shifting alien. The packed, rowdy, half-drunken audience had fallen dead silent as the test moved from one blood sample to another, until a big guy in the last row stood up, pointed at the screen, and announced in a booming voice: “That dude is the motherfuckin’ Thing! I bet you a million dollars!”
Well, he was right, of course, and we all fell apart laughing and it was some time before order was restored. I’m not saying I want that level of interactivity at every movie, but somehow the guy hadn’t ruined the movie or the scene or the whole experience, not at all. He had just kicked it up to another level. We can talk a lot about the communal moviegoing experience and the emotional and psychological effect of cinema and the way people become immersed in it while maintaining a critical or analytical distance. But for me that moment is like Zen lightning — it explains it all, without explaining anything.
— Andrew O’Hehir
Andrew O’Hehir is Salon’s film critic
“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” 1989
The night I arrived in Japan back in 1989, I was told by my American friends, “We’re going to see ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’!”
Understand that foreigners in Japan are already considered odd. When a pack of them is moving down the street, getting steadily loaded from Kirin vending machines, it borders on public disturbance.
We arrived, hammered, in a packed and chattering theater, which went silent upon our noisy arrival. We giggled as several people quietly moved away from us.
One person in our group, who was fluent in Japanese, said the locals thought it was a science-fiction adventure film involving time travel. Beyond that, it was subtitled, not dubbed.
So within five minutes of the opening, all of us were exploding with laughter — at Bill and Ted’s speech (being drunk makes them funnier) and at the somewhat confused muttering all around us. The ultimate scene was this one:
Bad Guy: “Take them to the Iron Maiden!”
Bill and Ted: “Excellent!”
Bad Guy: “And kill them!”
Bill and Ted: “Bogus!”
But the locals saw it, at the bottom of the screen, this way:
Bad Guy: “Take them to the Metal Woman!”
Bill and Ted: “That’s great!”
Bad Guy: “And kill them!”
Bill and Ted: “That’s bad!”
By the time the kid in the movie said Napoleon “was a dick,” we had all become Bills and Teds, and locals were streaming out of the place, wondering why a great historical figure being called a penis by a little kid was so funny to the freaks in the back.
We didn’t particularly care what anybody thought. We were, like, totally stoked, dudes — oh, and “dude” was being translated as “fancy person.” So, actually, we were “similar to stirred up, fancy people.”
On this extremely good night in Osaka, all we wanted was to party on, dudes! I mean, continue the celebration, fancy people!
— Paul Gerald
Heavenly Creatures,” 1994
Cineplex Odeon, New York City
In the mid-1990s I frequented the long-gone Cineplex Odeon Worldwide multiplex in midtown Manhattan. It showed second-run movies for only $3, so naturally the place was always packed — even for the New Zealand art-house flick “Heavenly Creatures.” Peter Jackson’s operatic film, about two real-life 1950s teens whose intense lesbian relationship ultimately led them to commit matricide, didn’t seem likely to attract the Worldwide’s usual crowd of hip-hop backpackers, working-class families, winos, tourists and stockbroker types. But at the Worldwide, you put down three bucks for whatever was playing at the moment.
It was a madhouse. The opening flash-forward shot of the girls running through the woods, shrieking, covered in blood, initially stunned and silenced everyone. Then as Jackson settled into the story proper, kids in the audience kept mocking Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey’s chirpy accents (“Oh, mummie!”). Jackson used crazy low, high and Dutch angles to mock all the stuffy adults who were making life hell for these two girls in love, drawing “Friday”-sized laughs out of most of us, myself included. A giant widescreen closeup of a therapist’s lips quivering over his crooked yellow teeth as he hesitates to pronounce, “Ho— ho— hooomosexual” brought the house down. Dream (or hallucination) sequences featuring a sexually menacing Orson Welles and a kingdom of clay people; leering shots of the girls frolicking in the grass in their underwear; small but sharp plot twists that Jackson always unloaded with some gasp-inducing visual flourish: What more could an audience ask for?
Then the story caught up to where we first met the girls — the violence that provoked that screaming and running. Building to an unspeakable deed with excruciating delicacy, with the Humming Chorus from “Madame Butterfly” gently playing along, Jackson had us by the throat. Nobody made a sound.
From this screening I learned that there are no demographic barriers to great storytelling.
— Steven Boone
“The Empire Strikes Back,” 1980
Hyannis Drive-In, Hyannisport, Mass.
In the summer of 1980, my dad and my uncle Angus piled all of us kids (six in total) into Angus’ big rambling station wagon and drove us to the Hyannis Drive-In movie theater in Massachusetts. I was not yet adolescent. It was the summer of “The Empire Strikes Back,” a movie we had been awaiting for what seemed like an eternity in our short little lives.
We were out of control that night, raging around in the cavernous space of the station wagon — giggling, bouncing with excitement. We wore our pajamas, lawlessly slurping down root beer floats and freaking out about going back to that galaxy far, far away. I remember the speakers attached to the side mirrors, and the pillows and blankets we had set up in the “wayback,” and how we all started screaming like maniacs when the opening scroll began with that music we remembered so well, and I recall the sort of weary indulgence of the two grown-ups present, witnessing their kids going crazy at the sound of a movie score, of all things. I remember this night for many reasons. It holds for me the best of childhood, of family, and the best of that season of summer. My uncle Angus died a year or so later, taken way too soon, a rupture in our family.
But what I remember this night most of all is the moment when I peered up at that giant screen through the front window of the car and felt a visceral and primal stir when I watched Han Solo kiss Princess Leia. My response was automatic, powerful. “Little House on the Prairie” and “James at 15″ had never brought on such a stir.
I thought about it for days afterward. On that night in 1980, I somehow knew that things had changed. I wasn’t a little girl anymore.
— Sheila O’Malley
Sheila O’Malley is a writer whose work has been published in the Sewanee Review and at The House Next Door. She publishes a blog called The Sheila Variations. You can subscribe to her Twitter feed here.
“Ebolusyong ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino” (“Evolution of a Filipino Family”), 2004
Cine Adarna, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
It was Dec. 17, 2004, an hour before midnight. The sun seemed like a distant memory. The black-and-white images on-screen — images of the families of a farmer and a miner struggling through the torturous passage of languorous time — felt more immediate, more real. The nearly 12 hours I spent inside the aging Cine Adarna theater at the University of the Philippines, watching “Ebolusyong ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino” felt like a lifetime. The theater is named after the mythical, elusive Adarna bird, a creature whose songs can cure many illnesses and induce anyone to sleep. As director Lav Diaz painstakingly created a cinematic universe with a heartbreaking resemblance to reality, there were times when the movie had an Adarna-like effect, even lulling me to sleep.
But the movie also cured me of the misconception of what cinema can be. The movie’s official 10-hour running time kept growing because Diaz practices the do-it-yourself independent filmmaking style that he preaches. The production of every Diaz film typically lasts up until the moment that it is projected. The director was still finalizing post-production on “Ebolusyong” on the day of the Adarna screening, so he kept traveling via taxicab from Cubao, where he was editing, back to the campus every few hours, delivering another section of the film, then getting in the cab and going back home.
Unsurprisingly, there were many walkouts. But for the hardy few that spent half a day in the darkness of Diaz’s vision, this was a life-changing theatrical experience — a 12-hour moment that defined cinema as not only pleasurable but also prolonged and painful; an experience that, despite its aches, you long for, search for, live for and love, not because it gives you pleasure, as most films do, but because it defines you.
—Francis “Oggs” Cruz
Francis “Oggs” Cruz is a contributor to the Philippine Star and Philippine Free Press, a curator for the Tioseco-Bohinc Film Series, a writer for Philippine New Wave: This Is Not a Film Movement, and the publisher of Lessons From the School of Inattention.
“Dressed to Kill,” 1980
The State Theater, Jersey City, N.J.
“Dressed to Kill” was supposed to be a horror movie. The ads touted that it was by the guy who did “Carrie” and “The Fury,” both films with extremely bloody sequences of terror and carnage. It was supposed to be an innocent time at the movies, full of violence we knew wasn’t real and scares we could tolerate. My aunt, who usually took us to these R-rated gore fests, seemed very lenient on what we were allowed to see. But the film’s director, Brian De Palma, forced her to invoke a stricter code we didn’t know existed.
It all started at the beginning. The movie came on, and we were treated to a dream sequence with the Policewoman taking a shower in ways they wouldn’t have allowed on ABC. “What the hell?!” I heard my aunt mutter. Then, Policewoman woke up, and she was being lousily hammered by her husband.
“Jesus Christ!” said my aunt, a little louder than before.
The movie went on, and by my aunt’s silence, I deduced there was nothing objectionable occurring. What also wasn’t occurring was the violence one would find in a horror movie. After a seemingly interminable silent pursuit sequence in a museum, which seemed creepy but had no scary payoff, Policewoman entered a New York City cab and proceeded to engage with her co-star from the museum sequence. I had no idea what they were doing (I was 10), but it sure looked interesting. Suddenly, I felt my aunt grabbing my arm. She dragged me and my two cousins out of the theater, an angry look on her reddened face. “Come on, we’re going!” she yelled.
“What’s wrong, Mom?!” my cousin asked.
“There is too much fucking fucking in this movie!” she explained. “Y’all can’t watch this!”
My aunt went to the box office and complained. The gentleman behind the counter offered to exchange our tickets for a more suitable picture. My aunt agreed, and took us to see “Prom Night.” The moral: Violence good. Sex bad. Who knew Aunty was just like the MPAA?
Northpark Cinema 1 & 2, Dallas
I spent most of my youth in Dallas, the city where John F. Kennedy was shot dead on Nov. 22, 1963. It is impossible to overstate how heavy the assassination weighed on the people of Dallas — not just because it was a national trauma that happened in our backyard, but also because Dallas is a deeply conservative city that mostly hated Kennedy (an often-evaded fact that deepened the city’s guilt and shame).
Because we were Texans, we tried not to talk about any of that, or even think about it. And if you were born after JFK’s assassination — as I was — and grew up immersed in the repressed psychic aftermath of the event, it seemed not just huge and terrifying but also mysterious, forbidden. It lingered in the back of my imagination the whole time I was growing up there. Yet whenever I mustered the nerve to ask an older person about it, I’d often get a brush-off remark. “Terrible, terrible thing.” “That poor man.” “Let’s talk about something else.”
Then Oliver Stone came to town.
If you were alive and awake before and after the release of Stone’s 1991 paranoid thriller “JFK,” you surely read or heard numerous, intense arguments about the veracity of Stone’s research and the ethics of his filmmaking. And throughout the first two hours of Stone’s three-hour epic, that’s what I was thinking about: the politics, the technique, the intent.
Then came the Zapruder film sequence.
As Kevin Costner’s character, crusading New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, stood in a New Orleans courtroom and parsed 8mm footage of the assassination frame by frame, rolling the images forward and backward, the director’s razzle-dazzle, sound-and-light show approach to filmmaking built to a peak. Every cut was a body blow, every flurry of the score’s anguished brass a shriek.
Then came the killing shot, and for a few seconds a hush fell over the movie — and the audience.
“Back and to the left,” Garrison told the courtroom. “Back and to the left. Back … and to the left.”
All you heard was Garrison’s voice and that clattering projector.
And the sound of one person crying.
And another. And another.
The crying became sobbing. With each passing second it grew in scope and intensity — a wave of horror and sadness that started somewhere in the back of the theater and rippled forward, passing through every row, every section, and finally breaking in the front, where I heard a woman gasp, “Oh, my God….”
Whatever you think of Stone’s films or his politics, “JFK” did Dallas, and the world, a service. It made people look at the killing again, really look at it, and recognize a stark, central fact of Nov. 22 that too often gets neglected: that what died that day wasn’t a dream, but a man, his head blown apart as he rode in a car beside his beautiful wife.
—Matt Zoller Seitz
“Pickup on South Street,” 2006
Brattle Theater, Cambridge, Mass.
What my in-bed-laptop theater lacks in screen size, it makes up for in coziness, snack abundance, and avoidance of other people. But if you happen to see a staple of your bed theater rotation in a real theater with other human beings, you may become possessive. This is exactly what happened with my beloved “Pickup on South Street.”
Several years ago this 1953 Samuel Fuller film played as part of a retrospective at the local art theater. I sat in the balcony, wore real clothes instead of pajamas, and drank several glasses of wine (sophisticated theater). Everything was fine and well until the audience below erupted into laughter.
I was confused. Had someone tripped in the aisle? I looked down. No one had tripped. Everything was fine.
They were laughing at the movie.
I had the nerve to be annoyed (angry and indignant). What were they laughing at?This wasn’t one of the funny parts. There was nothing funny about this scene! No, no, no, they had it all wrong!
Sons of bitches.
So I sulked alone (by now drunkenly), while below they laughed.
I’ll let you in on a secret now: I was jealous. Oh, how I wanted to be part of the group. But fear of rejection had led to self-isolation. In bed with a laptop. In the balcony with a glass of wine.
Yes, I sneered and felt superior, but I secretly knew the truth: While it is wonderful to watch a film in an intimate way, quietly and alone, sharing the experience with strangers and friends brings a deeper satisfaction.
— Kartina Richardson
Theater unknown, Dallas
In the ’90s I used to go to the discount dollar movies with a friend. We would challenge ourselves to sit through the worst film we could find. One night we decided to try sitting through “Leprechaun.” I’d seen the commercials promoting “Leprechaun,” and I thought I had a handle on how crappy this film was going to be, but I really had no idea.
The theater was packed with people who, to our surprise, were taking the film 100 percent seriously. Anytime we would laugh about something, we would get scolded by two large ladies sitting in front of us. “You best keep your mouths shut, or we’ll shut them for you!” they told us. Which of course made it even harder to not laugh.
At some point in the film, one of the characters got his head chopped off. My friend, being a very weird guy with a twisted sense of humor, laughed louder than I have ever heard anyone laugh in my entire life. The entire crowd, with the exception of one or two drunken dudes sitting near the back, turned around and began yelling at us. One particularly large individual took it upon himself to be the voice of the audience. He turned around, glared at us and firmly said, “Get the fuck out of here now before I kick both of your asses.”
— David Dixon
“Jurassic Park,” 1993
Northpark Cinema 1 & 2, Dallas
My mom doesn’t spook easily. I’d never seen her cry until I was 16 years old.
The family had gone to see “Jurassic Park” at the old Northpark Cinema, nestled into a high-end Dallas mall. The two large screens featured the best theatrical sound in the city at that time, perfect for “Jurassic Park.”
I think it’s the sound — clicking dinosaur talons on metal floors, the shallow breathing, the raptors’ high shrieks — that scared Mom so much. From the moment the Tyrannosaurus rex breaks free of his cage and heads straight for the kids with its booming footsteps, my mother was hugging her knees to her chest. Soon enough, she was crying and shaking. Dad and I tried to comfort her, and she whispered sharply, “Don’t touch me!” Near the movie’s end, she muttered, “This is scarier than ‘Jaws’!”
Coming out of the theater that night, we were so rattled by the aftereffects of fear that, at first, we barely noticed a loud altercation in front of the ticket booth. A theater usher and a man in a brown jacket yelled at each other. Another theater usher stepped in. A few of us slowly moved closer to rubberneck. When we were about 30 feet from them, Usher No. 1 and the jacketed man started grappling with each other. Usher No. 2 said, “He’s got a knife!”
Wrong. Gunshots are much quieter than they are in the movies. It was just five soft pops, five white flashes. Mom screamed, “RUN!” We dove behind and under cars. A woman — short red hair, glasses, about 40 — ducked near us. She shivered, sobbed and scratched her nails into the asphalt. My mom calmly put her arms around the woman and told her over and over, You’re going to be OK, everything’s going to be fine, you’re OK, but you’re gonna hurt your hands doing that.
We lay flat on that parking lot for 15 minutes. Eventually, we raised our heads, clambered into our cars, and drove home, even more nerve-jangled than before we’d entered the theater. No one was hurt.
To this day, I don’t know why my mother lost her head during “Jurassic Park” or how she kept it in the moments afterward.
— Walter Biggins
Walter Biggins lives in Jackson, Miss. He writes about literature, film, music and other subjects at Quiet Bubble, where a version of this piece originally appeared. You can follow him on Twitter here.
“North by Northwest,” 1980 or 1981
Regency Theatre, New York City
In 1980 or ’81 I attended a weekend showing of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller “North by Northwest” at the Regency, an Upper West Side rep house owned by Dan Talbot. It was a late-afternoon screening, which to me indicated that a fair number of hard-core Hitchcockians were in attendance.
Silence … And then … whistles, claps, hoots, “Yo!”
The dumb-shit projectionist wasn’t responding.
All at once three or four of us got up and walked into the lobby and bounded up the stairs to the projection booth. Knock-knock, bang-bang… Hey, man! Which the projectionist completely ignored. He was scared, we later realized, and had called the manager. But our blood was up. Skipping an entire reel of “North by Northwest” was an outrage … hey! Bang-bang, boom-boom, “Canary bird, will ya get outta the bathroom?”
Finally the manager responded, but like a riot policeman. He ran up to the projection booth door and turned toward us, panicked expression, back proverbially arched. “Get back! Get back!” His eyes and tone of voice were exactly like those of Marcel Bozzuffi, the French assassin in “The French Connection” who tried to shoot Gene Hackman and was later cornered on a moving subway train by MTA cops.
Why did the Regency projectionist (aka “Pete”) and the manager go into Defcon 1 mode? Why didn’t they simply smile and raise their hands and say, “OK, we get it, guys … we made a mistake … we’ll fix it right away”? That would have shut us up immediately. Instead were treated as raucous invaders rather than justifiably motivated film buffs, and so we the people got angrier than we should have.
There’s a lesson in civic relations here, but particularly one for theater owners. That lesson is “The film buffs are always right.” If they say the sound is muffled or weak, it probably is. Don’t debate it — fix it!
The next day I got a call from someone in Talbot’s office. I was the bad guy, in their view. I had caused the problem.
Well … but of course!
— Jeffrey Wells
Jeffrey Wells is the publisher of Hollywood Elsewhere.
The Mission,” 1986
Theater unknown, Chicago
My mind immediately springs to the many restored and re-released films I got to see the way they should be seen. The two peak experiences in this category took place in Manhattan: “Nashville” and “Vertigo.” Seeing Robert Altman’s 1975 masterpiece restored and refurbished on a big screen for the first time at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center truly was a magical experience. It’s one thing to see the U.S. flag fill the TV screen during the climax, but it’s another to see that banner waving large across a giant movie screen. Seeing Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958) at the grand old Ziegfeld Palace was even more amazing — climbing a zigzag staircase to enter the theater, then being overwhelmed by the vibrant reds in Ernie’s restaurant in Robert Burks’ cinematography.
However, one viewing experience rises above the others. It happened in 1986 in a downtown Chicago theater whose name I’ve since forgotten. I was a junior in high school, in town with other members of my school’s newspaper and yearbook staffs for a national journalism convention. When there was free time I made haste for the movie theater next door to the hotel. It was an old-style theater of a type I’d never attended, complete with balcony, and it was showing Roland Joffe’s “The Mission.” Never having watched a movie from a balcony, I took the opportunity.
My memory wants to say the print was 70mm, but I might be romanticizing the experience. What a remarkable thing to be seated at a height in the middle of the screen, not looking up or down, but straight ahead, as if I were floating in the image itself, with those waterfalls washing over me. I was awestruck. I loved the movie, but I’ve always wondered if the way I viewed “The Mission” caused to me to inflate its quality beyond what it deserved. All I know is that no moviegoing experience has ever left an impression on me the way that one did.
“The Falls,” 1993
The Biograph Theater, Washington, D.C.
A truly formative moviegoing experience for me was seeing Peter Greenaway’s 1980 experimental feature “The Falls” at Washington’s old, now sadly gone, art/porn (during my day) theater The Biograph, probably around 1993. I was working as an editor at Congressional Quarterly at the time. It was my first marathon screening, and I think there were maybe three other people in the theater, spaced well apart — and I believe I was playing hooky from work, or maybe I’ve just embellished that part of the memory. I can still remember vividly, however, the exhilarating sense of solitary immersion and discovery, and perhaps a little self-satisfaction, that I felt — and my emergence from that strange, challenging psychic and physical place into the bright sunshine of M Street, stupefied and somehow altered, at least for the walk home.
It was part of my early film education at that wonderfully outr
“Dances With Wolves,” 1990
Lloyd Center Cinemas, Portland, Ore.
I’m 20 years old. This is only my second date, and I’m nervous. Her name is Melissa, and she’s spirited, funny and pretty. We’re watching “Dances With Wolves.”
Melissa takes a break — probably because of that jumbo Diet Coke. While she’s gone, she misses the scene in which John Dunbar meets a Sioux chieftain.
I forget Melissa’s gone. I’m caught up in this scene.
An agitated woman — Stands With a Fist — sits between Dunbar and the chieftain. As a child, she saw her parents butchered by Pawnee attackers, and she was taken into the care of the more compassionate Sioux. Uprooted from her family’s language, she grew up with the natives and their language, locking her horrible memories into a vault. Here, encountering a white man, she’s terrified. Under orders to translate for Dunbar, she struggles to find the right words. Slowly, she rediscovers the language of her childhood, the music of a world she’d made herself forget.
I’m shaking. Tears stream down my face. I’m still not sure why.
Perhaps I’m moved because I know I will, in one form or another, spend my life “translating.” I’m a journalist, helping deliver other people’s stories to an audience. I’m a film critic, trying to convey in words the mysteries I encounter on the screen.
Or perhaps it’s because Stands With a Fist is returning to the language of her origins. Isn’t that at the root of all our longing — the desire to be restored to a world unscarred by violence, to whom we were meant to be?
Another memory: Portland, Ore. The mid-’80s. My love for movies grows during countless hours at the Village Theater, a 99-cent double-feature cinema, with sticky floors and broken seats, just a couple of blocks from my house. Many years later, I interview Todd Field for “Little Children,” and I learn he grew up in my neighborhood. We reminisce. I mention the Village Theater. Todd answers, smiling — “Yeah. I was the projectionist there.” We compare calendars. Yep. Todd Field was the projectionist who ushered me into a passion for movies.
— Jeffrey Overstreet
Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called “Through a Screen Darkly” (Regal Books), as well as the fantasy novels “Auralia’s Colors,” “Cyndere’s Midnight,” and “Raven’s Ladder.” Find him at Looking Closer.
Cineplex Odeon, New York City
The most memorable movie-theater moments usually happen during bad movies, not good ones. There’s something about watching a truly wretched flick that bonds the audience together like a platoon slogging through an infested jungle. Back in the ’90s, the best place to do such slogging was the Cineplex Odeon, the last second-run house in NYC, where movies got one last chance to hobble across the stage before collapsing into the video racks. And it was there that I had the most powerful moment of personal validation ever to take place in a movie theater.
Tickets to the Cineplex Odeon were $2, a price that encouraged teens on cheap dates, and marginally employed artists. So competition was fierce to be the most entertaining thing in the room, not excluding that thing on-screen. But for a while, the Demi Moore vehicle “Striptease” had us all struck dumb — the crazy shifts in tone, the tacky costumes, Ving Rhames’ Samuel-Jackson-on-codeine act— there was just nothing to say.
But then, about a third of the way through, the movie steps out of the strip club. We have a long scene laying out the details of our heroine’s custody battle. Moore, refusing to let a little girl see her mom crumble, sends her daughter to play on the beach. The camera pushes slooooowly toward Moore’s radiant face, a single tear welling up in her eye. We cut to the little girl, gaily skipping across the beach as the sun sets. We push in toward Moore’s welling tear ducts. Closer… closer… the tear begins to fall…
And I yell: “MORE STRIPPING!”
At that very instant, smash-cut to rhinestone-covered ta-tas, flouncing across the stage at the Eager Beaver.
I at once respond: “THANK YOU!” And the crowd goes wild.
I may never be that cool again.
— Daniel McKleinfeld
Daniel McKleinfeld is an editor, director, and VJ living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. He posts movies at Injury to the Eye Productions, posts video collages at VJ Fuzzy Bastard, and blogs sporadically at That Fuzzy Bastard.
Every Friday, Salon writer Matt Zoller Seitz sifts through beloved classics and obscure indies for a slide show that sheds light on the hidden connections and most fascinating moments in film and TV history.