It was Science on Screen day, and Tucson was one of the location pins on their map. Dr. K and Not-Kathy and I were unaware of the date when we agreed to accompany TBG to a big screen showing of his childhood favorite, Forbidden Planet..
A migraine kept him home, but he reassured me that my presence at home, while always welcome, was not necessary for his survival. One kiss and I was on my way to The Loft .
(This the only theater I'm comfortable visiting; I've convinced myself that mass murderers are too self-involved to notice an art house. Please do not try to dissuade me from this position; I'm comfortable with the absurdity.)
It was clear and cool and after the carpool rush; I breezed across town, coming in a slightly longer but much less congested way, smiling as I realized that I was figuring out a back way into town, reveling in the feeling that Tucson is home. I backed into a parking space under a bright lamp on a pole, grabbed a Blue Moon and a bag of free popcorn (a perk of membership in The Loft) and took seats on the aisle.
I scanned my neighbors, noted the locations of the nearest and furthest exits, shared my popcorn and Poor TBG chit chat with my dates, and then settled in for The Loft's coming attractions. 1984 has a stellar cast but do I really want to be that depressed? Deconstructing the Beatles....singing along with The Sound of Music.... Not-Kathy and I were filling the month of April with movie dates.
The lights went up after the Science on Screen promo film. Chris Impey, UofA Astronomy guru and all-around delightful speaker took us on a PowerPoint trip through the confluence of movies and space. It costs just as much to make a great blockbuster film as it does to send humans into space, or to build the telescopes to explore space, and every person in that theater felt Impey's outrage that only 12 people have ever walked on anything other than the earth.
We took a deep breath as we heard that our film cost $2 million to make, when that was real money but any time we might have spent pondering inequities in the distribution of the world's resources vanished when the curved credits came on the screen.
There are 19 men and 1 woman on the planet, and Anne Francis told NPR that it was the most fun she has ever had on a film set. Before he was Lt. Drebin, Leslie Nielsen was the main love interest on Altair 4, the spark to Walter Pidgeon's Shakespearean renunciation of the id, freeing his daughter as he dies in her lap.
That's if you were paying attention to the plot.
Most of us were admiring the colors and the campy humor and the 1950's faux-sexual tension and bopping and swaying to the MOOG and its electronic tonalities, for which Louis and Bebe Barron won an Oscar in their own private once ever awarded category.
It's fun, it's deep if you need it and simple if you want it, and, of course, it has Robby the Robot