Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Angelika & God

I’ve been saved by the “Angelika.”

That should be Christ’s job, I suppose. Where I’m from, anyway, church and Jesus Christ (Jesus H. Christ, depending on your mood…) and Sunday socials are a way of life. What would Mamma and all the rest do if I likened (although didn’t equate) a left leaning art-house movie theatre to the confines of our Episcopal church? Think about it… cool air amidst the summer heat (either from the stone walls of the sanctuary or the overactive air-conditioner at the Cineplex), refreshments (waifer & wine or buttered popcorn and a Dr. Pepper), life’s sins and joys distilled into one grand narrative (either the preacher’s sermon or Fellini’s yarn).

I don’t like dwelling on my sins. I’d much prefer to go to the theatre and watch the sins of others up on the big, wide screen. Maybe the Angelika is dank and the ushers are preternaturally grumpy and the subway moans uncomfortably close to the foam wall next to me. I’ll take it. I’ll also take the frayed brown carpet and the occasional mouse. Living up here in the city of chaos and sin, I enjoy watching a “Valentin” or “City of God.” Give me one of Francois Ozon’s scandalous flicks—“Swimming Pool,” “5 X 2”—any day of the week. My mind relaxes, I drop my guard, I escape.

When the weather or a friend or a co-worker turns on me, I turn to the “Angelika.” Two hours within its smelly confines and I’m born again. Oh Lord, have I turned into a Yankee heathen?

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