Friday, January 20, 2006

The Asshole of the Universe

From time to time I feel it's needed to take a break from writing just reviews and go off on a rant. This one has to deal with the abysmal cinema situation in Binghamton. As I have mentioned before, Binghamton has no "real" art house/independent theatre anymore. The one that was here, the Art Theatre, burned to the ground three years ago and the owner still hasn't rebuilt. He now operates the Art Theatre Pro-Tem, but since they don't have a projector all they can show are films that have been released on DVD. So, all this means that there is no difference between that and joining Netflix for watching any film. There are two corporate multiplexes but both play the same films, which is the major studio drivel like Hostel and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. Besides the lack of quality films, they are a haven for the annoying and tasteless teenagers that populate this county (in Binghamton, the only other option for hanging out is the mall). It's not a very good experience.
This all leads me to the issue of The New World, the new film by Terrence Malick that was supposed to be released today. Except in Binghamton that is. Regal Cinemas, owners of the largest multiplex in town, has not scheduled the film in their theatres for this week. However, the film is playing in Regal owned multiplexes in nearby Ithaca and Syracuse. This enrages me for two reasons: one is that Malick's last film, The Thin Red Line opened and played here on its initial weekend, in a multiplex. The second is that Regal (and Lowe's the other corporate trash heap) must not think Binghamton is a city that has residents of culture that deserve to see this film. These corporate scavengers want to make more money showing shit like Hostel because it will still sell more tickets than The New World would in Binghamton. But in Ithaca and Syracuse, it's o.k.
I rarely go to the theatre to see a film, but The New World was one I was greatly looking forward to seeing. And while I don't have a problem going to Ithaca or Syracuse to see it, it makes me angry that it also can't play in a 12 theatre multiplex here. Finding good cinema is hard to in Binghamton, and this is just one more thing that is making it harder. Binghamton is trying to reinvent itself as a city friendly to the arts and culture. They should start doing a better job, because they have a long way to go, especially in regards to film. At least Ithaca isn't too far away.

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