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Film Fetish

By Denise Cushing

IT NEVER CEASES to amaze me. Every day, folks queue up at their local movie house, shell out an outrageous sum to get in the door, cough up even more at the snack bar to consume something called popcorn that bears no resemblance to the real thing, and then enter into something called a theater, where their eyes and ears are assaulted with (a) advertising and (b) hopelessly mundane bits of entertainment trivia.

Then the movie starts, and things get really bad.

I've been suckered into this more times than I care to admit and usually wind up angry. I don't go see "regular" movies very often because the experience leaves me wondering things like, "Hey, what the heck is happening to us as a society?" The annoyances are many: simplistic, predictable plots; an overabundance of noise and special effects; and oh, let's not forget all those obligatory tit shots (and lest you think me prejudiced, I have two myself that I'm rather fond of).

Sure, everybody has his or her own preferences, and the last time I checked this was still a free country. So if you want to pony up your hard-earned cash to see whatever, have a great time. But it's a big world, and you owe it to yourself and your peace of mind, as well as your intellect, to break free from the pack.

If so, you might want to do what I've started doing.

I've escaped from the Hollywood rut. I haven't been bored since.

When there's nothing truly sensational at your local Mall-o-Plex, get thee to a real video store. I'm not talking about the Blockbuster-bland variety, but one that carries an extensive collection of the old, odd, bizarre, and unique. [Editor's note: Video Droid's a good bet.]

When was the last time you saw Death Takes a Holiday? How about Gamera: Guardian of the Universe or Ray Kellogg's epic The Giant Gila Monster? Ready for The Lost Continent? The subtitled version of Das Boot?

Hey, give me the classy films of Kurosawa, Juzo Itami, and François Truffaut, or the so-called trash of Ed Wood Jr., Francis Colemam, Robert Lippert--and anything with Gamera in it--and I'm happy.

Hopefully, you will be too.

Denise Cushing of San Anselmo is an eccentric individualist of the highest order, an office manager, and a trained chef.

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From the August 9-15, 2001 issue of the Northern California Bohemian.

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