This started off as a review of Lords of Chaos and then turned into something completely different, so just enjoy my rant about film bro culture for a sec.
As I sat alone in a sold out theatre filled with metal aficionados, I had a slight moment of insecurity. It’s actually a common feeling I have walking into a screening at the Egyptian. I had it about a month ago when I arrived for a Blues Brothers screening and was approached by a man in black asking me, “Jake or Elwood?” (Which one was Dan Aykroyd’s character again? But he’s not the one I’m supposed to pick, is he. John Belushi’s a total dick in this movie though… I don’t know, it’s been years since I’ve seen it which is why I’m here.)
I had it a year prior at an Arnold Schwarzenegger double feature as I sat through Predator for a second time confirming, no I don’t really like this movie, I just like the opening scene. (But The Running Man’s next which you do like and there’s a Q&A so just smile and enjoy spending the time with your friends, they’ll just be mad at you if you admit that you don’t care for this testosterone fest anyway.)
In general, I think it’s hard to go to a screening in LA without being a die-hard superfan of the movie you’re about to see. Instead of getting a pat on the back for going to see a classic movie for the first time in a theatre, there’s just this weird underlying notion of we’re all here because we have all seen this movie 50 times and can quote every line. Why are you?
Wouldn’t it be weird if you were attending a brand-new movie like say I don’t know, Lords of Chaos, and people were already expecting you to know everything about the film going into it? That was kind of what it felt like, to be honest, just because it was based off of true events and everyone in the audience seemed to be an expert on the subject. Even listening to the people sitting next to me discussing what films they had seen recently made me want to blow my brains out just because the terminology they used was so… showy. Everyone in this city acts like they’re consistently on a non-stop podcast and everything they say is gold.
Film screenings in Los Angeles are not made for general audiences. They are made for everyone you hated in film school that made you feel bad about not knowing that Die Hard is actually a failed Commando 2 script. (This is just random film trivia that I looked up on the internet. There’s probably a better anecdote that can go here. This whole post is pretty rushed. ((…also never seen all of Die Hard, I always end up falling asleep halfway through. There, I said it.))
And this is the part where I start to sound like a hypocrite because I love attending these screenings and I am one of those people with an insane amount of useless film knowledge, but I’d like to think there’s a difference between knowing about something and using that knowledge to make other people feel lesser than you. I imagine it spawns from insecurity, but seriously. In general, I just wish the fans of the thing didn’t make me want to hate the thing out of spite.