Posts categorized “Underemployment CInema”.

Cinema Non-Paradiso

A few weeks ago I went to see The Favourite at the Regal Union Square, which requires designated seating for everyone in the audience. Sigh.

I get to my seat and there’s someone in it. I start to mention that they are in my seat, they probably just need to move one over, and the younger of the two women immediately and dripping with entitlement starts a screed. “Look, my grandmother is 88 years old and she want to sit HERE, so why don’t you just sit THERE,” indicating the empty seats in front of her. I start to answer, “Well, I don’t need to deal with the problem of whomever has THOSE seats,” and she immediately yells, “For God’s sake, those are our seats! Just take them. What is your problem?”

“My PROBLEM is your attitude. Why are you screaming at me?”

“Well, I don’t have an attitude and I am screaming NOW.”

“Why are you screaming AT ALL?”

So I take their seats, and as I am getting settled, the preview on screen is pretty loud and the younger woman starts to talk to me so I just replied, “Look, I can’t hear you, and since I don’t really care what you have to say at this point, STOP TALKING TO ME, IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?”

Of course, I get a look from her like,”What’s HIS problem?”

Now, if the woman had just said to me, “Oh, my grandmother is settled in here and those are her seats just ahead of us. Do you mind taking our seats?” of course I would have agreed and there wouldn’t have been a single extra word about it. This is why I hate assigned seating in movie theatres. You’re stuck if you get jerks nearby, and who in New York City wants to start the “you’re in my seat” problem

Luckily the movie was wonderful and except for a few times when Grandma behind me kept kicking my seat, there was no further incident.

NOW, in the old days in New York City, if I didn’t want to sit near anyone for any reason, I just got up and moved to another seat. I once changed my seat three times before a movie started because I just KNEW the people near me were going to be a problem. (Cell phones, loudness, odor, you name it.)

I really do prefer seeing movies in cinemas but I really don’t like having lots of people around me. The once time I have gone recently to a Saturday night film, it was A Star Is Born and two women next to me started talking loudly, and gesturing wildly, the moment the movie started. I gave them “the look” and a quarter turn and they stoppedat

I don’t get it. You’re paying anywhere from $11 to $15 to see this movie. Why the hell are you talking!? Just shut up for two hours. It’s not that hard. Just put your lips together and keep your eyes open.


From the start, this movie has an unrelentingly positive attitude about teenagers, and I suspect it is because there were so many movies about reckless teenagers in the mid- to late-1950s. Here, teenage Steve (played by 27-year-old Steve McQueen) witnesses the Blob overtake a doctor, and he tries in vain to get the cops to take him seriously. Later, he has to round up other cleancut, wholesome teens to help get the authorities’ attention–the highlight being when they convince the school principal to help them bust into the school for the much-needed fire extinguishers to vanquish the Blog.

I saw this on TV back in the 1970s like everyone else. Some friends remember being terrified by the Blob as kids, but the Blob itself doesn’t have much screen time. The movie seems to spend more time on the well-intentioned teenagers.¬†Aneta Corsaut, who played Helen Crump on the Andy Griffith Show, is Jane, the female well-intentioned team.


Some folks seem puzzled and even confused about UNDEREMPLOYMENT CINEMA, and it’s two older sisters, BROKEN ANKLE CINEMA and UNEMPLOYMENT CINEMA. It’s pretty simple: When a windfall of extra free time came along, it gave me a chance to watch more movies. It started earlier in 2018 when I broke my ankle and had to stay off my feet and lived in the living room 24/7.

I went back to work in May and then two months later, the powers that be fired half the editorial staff at the New York Daily News and all but one of the library staff. I was head librarian; I was not kept.

So while I was unemployed I started recording a lot of movies to my DVR–mostly from Turner Classic Movies but also some from Fox’s FXM channel and some others.

ACTIVITY THUS FAR: I have been posting small capsules on Facebook with screenshots off the TV.

CRITERIA: I have been trying to watch movies that I have either never seen or those I saw once but quite a long time ago.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT: There are MANY classic movies that I have never seen. I have never seen Casablanca (except for the last five minutes). I have never seen the Godfather. I have never seen The Graduate! There’s just a lot I have never seen, for a variety of reasons. First, growing up in the 1970s, we tended to repeat viewings if a movie was on TV. Maybe you saw a movie two or three times in the cinema if you were really crazy about it. Unlike kids who grew up in the 1980s, we did not have VCRs so we could re-watch a Disney movie every blessed day.

Another problem was film-student snobbery. In college I came to learn that movies on TV were chopped up (like much of the first third of Psycho) and some movies were meant for viewing on the big screen. And in the 1990s, our TVs in general were much smaller and reading subtitles was more difficult. I mean, I would read them, but a 13-inch screen is not the way to see a lot of these classic movies.

But now, we have 50-inch screens and a million and one things streaming, and my part-time job is only 15 hours a week, so… UNDEREMPLOYMENT CINEMA!