I pulled up my hood as I stepped out from under the awning and into the now steady rain.  I waited at the lights for the pedestrian signal then strode on the  across the shining black road to where my bus waited patiently on the far side.  I boarded and took my accustomed seat near the rear, waiting to be taken home.  As the bus made its way through the night my eyes stopped focusing on where we were, seeing only blurs of light and dark, and my thoughts returned to the film.  The sublime Arctic Russian landscape, the threat of immanent death, the ever present possibility of being eaten by a polar bear, the radioactive isotope beacon.  The simplicity of a cast of two, isolated at the end of the world in an unfriendly land doing a necessary but unpleasant job.  The requisite insanity the whole thing devolves into as one would expect from a Russian film.  Watching a movie at the Civic Theatre is always a pleasure, even when the film itself is not so great.  Just taking your seat, waiting for the lights to dim and the stars to come out, looking out for the shooting star and listening to the quiet gasps and comments from others in the audience.  The whole evening’s experience was all that with the added benefit of a film worthy of the setting.  Through the rain-obscured windshield at the front of the bus I made out a sign that read “Road Closed”.  My bus wasn’t taking that route so my eyes moved on and my thoughts turned back toward home and my bed.

(The film described in the above piece is “How I Ended This Summer”, playing in the New Zealand International Film Festival.  Highly recommended.)


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