Spectacle, propped up on a stage and bathing a crowd in story, is powerful. One of the longest running businesses on Pioneer Avenue happens to be the house of spectacle: the Homer Theatre.
Sitting before a screen and watching a movie or documentary is sometimes marked as an “escape from reality.” At times people are quick to categorize viewing as solely an act of pursuing entertainment which lacks the full responsibility outside of the theatre. Perhaps that is true for some films, but attempting to apply that description to others is laughable.
The DocFest will be concluding on the day this is published, but the documentaries shown during this week surely testify to the deeper pull possible from screened spectacle.
On what other occasion can a group of people, different in countless ways and seeing through eyes so varied, get so close to sharing a single perspective? Even if it occurs for less than two hours, unity is possible through the arts, and specifically movies.
While we all sit and watch as a collective vision, a creative project on film, uncurls before us, we share in something. Whether it be Leonard Cohen or a group of teenage hockey players, we are close to someone who is not ourselves. We get a sense of their lives in a way which is not ordinarily conveyed through passing interactions or small-talk, or even written narrative.
The sense of sight colors the voice of this other whose life we are momentarily up-taking. We have an opportunity to see from a vantage point closer to their own, or at least in the way which the creator has curated their vantage point.
And together in the theatre, fastened to our red upholstered chairs with hands picking at snacks in the dark, we temporarily loosen the holds on our worries, passions and agendas to adopt that which is speaking before us.
Of course, there is strain. One might catch themselves unsettled by what they see, or inspired, or experiencing a wide range of moods which would seem alien to the person next to them if they were to share. We do not completely shed our personalities, but open ourselves up to the spectacle in order to converse with it and “test” ourselves before it.
The post-movie-drive-home-conversation is sure to tease out some of the differences between you and your company’s perspectives, and possibly further expand both.
So in a sense we share in the unity of all approaching the same screen. We all are watching Leonard Cohen, listening to his songs and weathered tones. The manner in which we are approaching, however, has all the peculiarities of our own mixed bag of individuality.
Then we are not escaping reality, but rather coming towards a reality which might simply be different than that which we usually frequent. Would a regular Safeway goer checking out Save U More’s new stock be escaping reality?
It is a different reality, or world, which we are coming towards, but not a lack thereof. And it seems that we always maintain bits of our own which allow the approach, and the conversation, to be staged in the first place.
Go see a movie, your eyes will appreciate a good conversation. For more opportunities to explore, check out these Best Bets:
BEST OOMPAH PAH BET: You can’t celebrate Oktoberfest without a good ol’ German brass band. It’s the real deal on Saturday for an Oktoberfest Celebration featuring Alaska Blaskapelle. Enjoy live music, dancing, food, friends and, of course, beer from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Best Western Bidarka Inn. A fundraiser for the Homer Council on the Arts, admission is $12 a person or $40 a family at HCOA or the door. Beer is donated by Homer Brewing Co. with a special Oktoberfest brew.
BEST HIT THE ROAD BET: Homer Drawdown and the City of Homer sponsor Homer Pathways Forward: Non-Motorized Transportation Symposium from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the Kachemak Bay Campus. Come learn about and give community feedback towards a safe walkable, bikeable, trail friendly community.
BEST WELCOME TO HOMER BET: Meet Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Artist in Residence, Catherine Meier, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Catherine Meier creates drawings, animations, and large-scale installations of earth, sky, and horizon – of vast, open land and space. Her projects are large in scope and develop over several years of deep listening in specific locations — this experience forms the core of her artistic process.