synthetic zero

December 3rd, 2008

Went to my home state of California, and my home city of Los Angeles, for Thanksgiving, as usual, and it was warm, sunny, casual, and … plain, which is actually what I like about it. One thing that always seems far more exciting, however, in Los Angeles, is seeing movies … people are more excited in the theaters, there’s more of a sense of something happening; perhaps it’s because the movie industry is headquartered in LA, but people act almost as though the makers of the film are there in the audience, watching the film with them (and some of them may well be, in fact.)

I saw a movie at the Landmark Theater, for example, in West LA.  It’s a “premium” theater, charging $12 for a ticket, which is actually pretty much the price of an ordinary ticket in Manhattan. For this you get assigned seating, ushers, a little speech before the film by one of the ushers, a guy in the bathroom making sure the towels don’t run out, etc. All slightly tongue-in-cheek (unlike New York, which takes its luxury accoutrements seriously, to the point of absurdity, in Los Angeles, people play with luxury as though it is a game … which is, of course, what it is…)  Moviegoers are drinking POM and having lattes in their super comfortable seats.  The picture is very much in your face, low to the ground (giving it a more visceral, present feel, more like theater, rather than this screen you’re craning your neck to see, project high above everyone’s heads), it’s in focus, and the sound system is expertly calibrated for the room. All in all, a fun, engaging, irreverent, and strangely joyful community experience. It’s too bad the rest of the country, and the world, don’t experience going to the movies the way people in city that makes the movies experience it…

Later, we went to Sacramento to see my aunt Mariko Yamada (my mom’s youngest sister) get sworn in to the California State Assembly (!) She was just elected, even though she started as the underdog in the primary race in her home town of Davis, California. Congratulations, auntie!

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one response to this post:
  1. Kimberly says:

    Congratulations to your auntie. Fantastic news.

    I wish you two had the time to swing over to Phoenix briefly when you visit L.A. It would be nice to see you.

    I had hoped to make it to N.Y. this year, but it was impossible given our project schedules at work.


    December 5th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

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