having a field(s) day with starlite cinema

the january edition of starlite cinema is in the books and it was sorely needed.

let me tell you a little about why starlite cinema is so important to me and why i hope everyone can find the time to come out one of these evenings. it has been a difficult beginning to this new year. still in mourning for one friend, yesterday my friends and i lost another one. i keep thinking that someday soon we are going to wake up from this collective bad dream that has been 2012 so far and everything will be set right. i know a lot of people must be feeling similarly. i busy myself with work but that's not always enough and, as it goes when you lose someone, what you love about them and the void that is causing pain and grief are inextricably bound up in one another. it's sad and difficult to see the friends you have in common but, simultaneously, all you want to do is be there for whatever they need. i am a fairly solitary person, and it feels like that is only going to become more pronounced for the forseeable near future, but, in the wake of these terrible things, the thing that has made all of us feel a little bit better is how much everyone we know is coming together and helping each other. i read an interview with tom waits some years ago in which he mused about this life being a constant war between the light and the dark and the nagging suspicion that maybe the dark has just one more spear. well, as hard as these three weeks have been on everyone, at least it has shown me that that fear is unfounded. i have watched my friends pick each other up, lock arms and stare that dark right in the eye and the numbers are on our side. tonight was a perfect example of that.

knowing that these have been trying times, lauren went out of her way to find out what my most favorite dish is and to have that surprise on the stove when i arrived to start setting up for the screening tonight. it was one of those little things that means the world. she and stephen are always so gracious to us, sharing their home for these. this is more than that, though. your friends tell you they love you in all kinds of ways, some of the most important being just doing what they can to offer you simple comforts, a modicum of relief or just a place to set everything down for a little while. i appreciate it more than i can say. it will always be the best mushroom matar i have ever had. and, in typical above-and-beyond fashion, there was also blueberry pie and ice cream. in return, i offered an evening of some of my favorite things. our feature was the w.c. fields vehicle it's a gift (1934). since that's relatively short we also had a large program of two-reelers prior to the main attraction that included more fields in the dentist (1932) and the barbershop (1933), laurel and hardy's county hospital (1932) and the little rascals in mush and milk (1933), which includes this inimitable moment from tommy bond.

dear lord, that never fails to make me cry with laughter. these are the things that happen at starlite cinema. it's about so much more than watching movies. it's about being together, sharing moments that we're going to think about, with any luck, for the rest of our lives. i am fortunate to be rich with such friends. you should come spend these evenings with us, if you can.

our next program is going to be in mid-february and we will be screening jean vigo's luminous l'atalante (1934) in honor of valentine's day. this feverish romance is a milestone of french cinema, far ahead of its time. uncommonly sensuous and poetic, it was the last film vigo made in a career cut tragically short by tuberculosis. this also marks our first foray into high-definition projection so you will get a chance to see this film looking better than it has looked since 1934. our screening date is saturday, 2.18.12 at 7:30 p.m. you can rsvp via facebook here. if you're not facebook-enabled just get in touch and i will get you the particulars. i hope to see you there. until then, take care of one another.

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