The Make-Watch Chasm

I don’t know about you guys, but I got into all of this because of how much I loved watching movies. Well, I am facing the same conundrum that everyone who starts making content runs up against: Doing can put a big dent in watching. Of course, watching can also put a pretty big dent in doing. Obviously.

Unfortunately, I’ve recently discovered the glory of the Chicago film screening scene. I’ve been traveling downtown far more often these days, and two theaters are mainly responsible.

The Logan Theater in the Logan’s Square neighborhood of Chicago has a selection of recent movies, but then they have a monthly themed revival screening series. This is where I saw Chinatown and Fire Walk With Me on the big screen. This is where, during the month of October, I saw Poltergeist and Trick ‘r Treat on the big screen for the first time. October is horror movies, of course, February is romance movies, but then they also come up with their own insane themes. The month of March has been Anderson vs. Anderson vs. Anderson: screening works by Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, and Paul W.S. Anderson. I’ve spent the last couple of Thursday nights seeing Resident Evil and Event Horizon. Tonight, I get to once again revel in the magnificent and hypnotically depressing Magnolia. It’s awesome. And Thursday screenings are $5. Unbelievable.

The Music Box Theater is a glorious old movie house. Huge, old school, vaulted ceiling auditorium of a movie house with as tiny dollhouse-feeling second screen for the smaller titles. They do midnight screenings of classics using old beat-up 35 millimeter prints and are the main destination for the limited release flicks that come through Chicago. This is where I saw an awesomely gritty print of Aliens and heard Ripley’s voice echoing off of antique movie palace walls that have been around long before theater walls were heavily padded for sound dampening for optimal listening. It’s where I finally saw the theatrical cut of Donnie Darko at a midnight screening and heard a crowd of people cheer after the line, “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

So going to these screenings obviously cuts back on the time that I spend at the computer building the show or my shorts or any creative video output. And sitting at my computer hammering away at the next link in my videography is time that I’m not consuming the things that keep me excited. I think I’ve found a pretty good balance, though. Just enough theater visits to keep me excited and motivated, and enough desk time to keep me working on output.

I just wanted to tell you all about two of my favorite spots, I guess. Thanks for reading.



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