Home > Uncategorized > A Serious Man and a Less Serious Problem I Have with the Audience at the Spectrum

A Serious Man and a Less Serious Problem I Have with the Audience at the Spectrum

When it comes to film, I have two almost shamefully pathetic fandoms: one for anything made by Stanley Kubrick, and the other for anything done by The Coen Brothers. I don’t claim to be an expert on either, and I certainly am not one of those that could spout obscure factoids about every nuance of their films. I do, however, seem to be completely unable to dislike or criticize anything done by Kubrick or the Coens, and I’ve enjoyed all their films tremendously and without exception.

a-serious-manAs someone averse to such a fundamentalist approach to pop culture, I should be a bit more ashamed to admit it. I should also be ashamed to admit that I not only enjoyed “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” which has become largely forgotten and dismissed, but that I also get really peeved when people criticize it even though I can’t really defend the criticisms levied against it.

Thankfully I won’t have to do that with “A Serious Man,” which seems to be hailed as brilliant by more or less everyone I know who has seen it. If you do go to see it, I suggest you bring someone with you. I myself didn’t fully appreciate it until I was discussing it with my friend Ryan and, in the process, realized what the film was all about. Once I got home and had the opportunity to ruminate on its theme and how it reflects my own personal experiences and difficulties over the last several months, I transcended enjoying the film and began to feel a deep sense of appreciation for its existence.

Of course, it’s possible too that I read far too much into what was happening and it was more along the lines of a David Lynch film like “Mulholland Drive;” a series of non-sequiturs that exude a greater meaning but lack any real intent on the part of the auteur. In which case, you should still be able to enjoy it as a beautifully made film chock full of awkward Coenesque black humor.

It was also my first exposure to actor Michael Stuhlbarg, who was simply amazing in this film. I sincerely hope to see more of him in the future.

The only complaint I had was the audience at The Spectrum. My God, these people. They guffaw at the littlest things even if they aren’t meant to be “laugh out loud” funny. It’s obnoxious, and it was people like them that made me hate Steve Martin’s play “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” Is it really necessary to broadcast to the other people around you that you’re smart enough to get the joke? It’s a theater. It’s dark. There’s a ton of people there. I can’t tell who you are anyway, and I’m sure as Hell not going to take a head count of who got the vague literary reference and who didn’t.

Also, true story, someone led a blind man into the theater as we were going in. Yes, I know, they can still hear the film, but it still seems a bit weird. It almost seems like cruel teasing, to lead someone into a theater who can’t take full advantage of the medium.

Perhaps more notable than the blind man being led into a movie theater was the uber-dork moment I had that made me a little ashamed of myself. As my friend Ryan quipped that perhaps the blind man was Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and really could see the film after all, I had to pipe in and note that since it’s light being projected onto a flat screen, his powers still would not allow him to see the film. This on the same day Cute~Ella posted a picture of herself and her little brother in a Star Trek uniform, and me piping in to note that the three dots on his collar that she pointed out meant he held the rank of Commander. If this had been real life, I would have shrunk a little in my seat a little and pretended I’d never said anything, lest I be pantsed and the money for my lunch at school be separated from my person.

So anyway, yeah. Go see “A Serious Man.”

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