Friday, April 10, 2009

Don't Spoil Me

In early 1994 I had the privilege of seeing an early screening of The Hudsucker Proxy. Walking in, I knew nothing about the film other than who directed it. As Norville Barnes kept showing off his "sweet little baby" -- a drawing of a circle -- I had absolutely no idea what this blueprint would turn out to be. Imagine my delight when it was revealed.

Compare this to 1991 and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. If one was able to watch this film "cold" -- with no prior knowledge of what's going to happen -- then there's a significant twist at the end of the film's first act when the Terminator uses the "Come with me if you want to live" line, suddenly flipping expectations that he's not there to kill young John Connor but save him.

Seeing Terminator 2 cold was an impossibility. The hype was too big and, worse, my curiosity was too great.

In the past few years I've managed to let that curiosity go. I've ruined too many things for myself by researching films before they come out.

Sometimes, however, I don't have a choice. I want to remain blissfully ignorant to the intricacies of a film but this is in direct conflict with the way movies are marketed. Previews and commercials give far too much away. Worse, you can't look at too many pages on the Internet without seeing spoilers casually posted as if they were common knowledge.

Don't spoil me. Don't make the information so easy to come by. I want to work for it or, even better, I want to not know and just enjoy things for what they are.

I'm saying all of this as the new crop of "summer movies" loom on the horizon. The bigger and geekier a release, the most spoilers come flooding across the Internet tubes.

I don't want to know the plot of Star Trek XI, I don't need to learn who's who in the remake of "The Prisoner", I don't thirst for knowledge of how "100 Bullets" may end. Can't I just enjoy things for what they are when they happen?

I'm going back to my cave now... Put me in a blindfold and lead me to the theater when Star Trek XI comes out.

Addendum: I just remembered that Star Trek XI comes out on May 8, 2009. I'm going to be neck-deep in film festival fare at the Maryland Film Festival that weekend. Will I actually be able to keep the spoilers from my ears for an extra week before I see it? It's going to be tough but I hope so!

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