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Laziness vs. Immediate Gratification

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 27, 2006 9:21PM

It’s Friday night and you’re facing the cinephile’s dilemma: do you brave the crowds and head out to the theater to see a new release or do you just wait four days and rent it on DVD instead? In the year 2035, this may be a common scenario. But this weekend, only those interested in seeing Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble will have this problem. The Tribune ran this piece from the L.A. Times about the film’s marketing strategy.

Chicagoist is against anything that demeans the communal experience of watching a film including cell phones, commercials before movies, and the jackass behind us who keeps asking “Wait, who’s that guy?” We’re assuming this is a novelty that will wear off quickly, especially since most studios treat a film’s theatrical release as an extended marketing campaign for the DVD.

Besides, we’re not usually ones for seeing most films on their opening weekend anyway. Though we are making an exception for Mom?24 Hours on Craigslist at The Gene. Shot on video, the film captures the backstories of posts that appeared on the site on August 4th, 2003. Thank god someone is answering the question “What is a prosthetic beer gut and why would you need such a thing?”

Of course, when “communal” becomes a synonym for “packed in like cattle” then we’re apt to opt for a revival or (even better) a free screening around town.

At U of C’s Film Studies Center in Cobb Hall, they’re running “Beyond Warhol, Smith, and Anger,” a series of experimental short films that examine queer issues. Tonight, they’re presenting the films Face, Christmas on Earth and Portrait of Jason in an evening titled “Women Looking (At) Queer.” Best of all: free!

Also at U of C, Doc Films is showing David Cronenberg’s History of Violence tomorrow night at 6:45, 9:00, and 11:15 PM. The film will likely pick up a few Oscar nominations when they’re announced next week. Tickets are $4 (and they fixed up their schedule page too!).

Finally, the LaSalle Bank Theatre is showing the Barbara Stanwyck film No Man of Her Own at 8 p.m. tomorrow. (Or you could always just stay home and rent the remake with Ricki Lake on DVD. Hmm. Perhaps a crowded theater isn’t that bad after all).