Friday, 30 July 2010
The Film That Waited Down The Road
The film was just three roads away. It sat on top of the TV in a girl's house, there in its DVD case. The film was in many other places too. It was on a DVD rack in France, on an old VHS tape in Japan and being downloaded by a pensioner in Tennessee. The movie existed. People all over the world had spent time with the characters and had gotten to know them well. But I had never met them.
I knew about them, I'd heard about the movie - but for some reason, had never seen it. What a sad fate - to have one of your favorite movies sitting on top of the TV, only a six minute walk from where you are, without ever taking the time to acquaint yourself.
I'd been to the girl's house many times. I'd lent her films, she'd given me books. All the while, the film I needed to see was sitting there, on top of the TV, not even getting played. Meanwhile, the character's came out in a cinema screening in Norway, and they got chopped up into chunks on YouTube; they lived on, but not for me, I didn't know them.
And then the girl glanced at the things sitting on top of her TV. She mentioned something about the film. I responded, "For some reason, I've never...," she knew where I was heading. She was shocked. So was I. I knew I should have taken the time to get to know the film and characters by now, but I hadn't.
"Take this," she said, as she thrust the DVD into my hands. I went home, and within two hours - my life was a little bit better. Even though I've never met them, there are people walking out of a screening in Norway who I have a bit more in common with, there are girls down the street who I am more similar to than I realise, there are people in Japan who don't speak the same language as me, but we've shared the same experience, gotten to know the same characters, and had our lives changed in small ways.
Isn't it amazing how there are all these characters out there just waiting for you, who may end up being important to your life? They're waiting on DVD shelves in New York, they're being defined in the editing suite in London, they're being penned by a teenager in Germany. They exist for you. I hope you find them.