I am trying my best to recall since when did I want to write something about the power of movie theaters. Little did I know, that the most perfect timing will be with the release of "Poor Thing" by Yorgos Lanthimos, the movie that I've already fallen in love with - but not screened yet.
This year, 2023, for me in many ways was the best year of my life - so far. I know the burden that comes by saying that, but this is how I feel. On December 2022, I made the right decision to resign from my previous job, and start working in the film industry. Throughout the first months of 2023, I created feelming, and its little digital space here, which is a continuous amateur process, but a lovely one (with more to come). In 2023, after two years of covid-era, which for me was an exhausting experience, I fell in love with movies and movie theaters again and again and again.
Watching a film in the cinema, precisely in the place where it was originally intended to be enjoyed, is an experience that many of us around the world have somewhat neglected since 2019. I'd rather not delve into the analysis of these two years when cinemas worldwide were compelled to shut down. Instead, I'd like to focus on the cinemas I had the opportunity to visit this year, where I watched films I truly desired, eagerly anticipating the immersive darkness of the theater without the usual disruptions of our daily life.
Poor Things (2023) dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
This is not a do-not-watch-film-at-home manifesto. Having spend most of my time watching films at home while growing up, I can't be the one who despises them. Most of the films I've watched over the years, I couldn't find them on movie theaters. Either they were from another decade, or missed their screenings, or haven't got distribution in Greece. We can all find a way to watch films at home, renting or subscribing to an online streaming platform. Thankfully, nowadays, there's a plethora of streaming platforms addressed to the general public, and dive yourself in the world of movies is easier and cheaper than ever.
However, it's safe to say that nothing beats the feeling of watching a film in a movie theater. The big screen, the sound systems, people's interaction, the shared experience, the smell of popcorn, the small talks afterwards. Needless to say about the anticipation we all share when our favorite director, or actor/actress are about to release their latest feature. I love going to the movies. I can't imagine a life with no movie theaters. One of my dreams is to have my own cinema. Maybe someday will happen. Alright, back to our topic.
By the time Searchlight Pictures released the first photo and poster of Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos, I have been rumbling on about how big is my anticipation to watch this movie. As days go by, more photos and videos have brought to life and this feeling just grows bigger and bigger. Not just the feeling to watch the film. I feel the need to watch Poor Things in the cinema. Looking back, I recall I had this exact feeling when Quentin Tarantino released Once Upon A Time in Hollywood in 2019, which I couldn't screen in a movie theater since I was away for seasonal work.
Maybe I have this feeling because Emma Stone is one of my favorite actresses of all time, or because Yorgos Lanthimos has been one of the greatest directors from Greece on the 21st century. I vividly remember the day Poor Things won the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival. I literally screamed, like I won the award. Until today I haven't figured out yet what makes me so damn happy with other's people success.
Poor Things (2023) dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
Today is the 20th of December 2023. I am thinking about writing about the power of movie theaters for quite some time. For me this is the power of movie theaters. To feel more and more excited day by day until you see a movie you want to see so much! In 7 days I am going to watch Poor Things at one of my favorite cinemas in Athens, Trianon. I have no answer to how do I know that this movie is going to be my favorite film of the year. I just know. I am not sure I'll find the write words to describe what I am going to see on the 27th of December, but I promise 'll try my best :)
*Come back on December 27th for all the words I can write down after watching Poor Things.
Today is December 28th.
Yesterday I saw Poor Things at Cinema Trianon in Athens, and I don't believe I blinked for 140 minutes. It's incredibly challenging when you're accustomed to expressing thoughts about films, emotions, and all aspects of life to suddenly lose that ability. As you know, my expectations for Poor Things were quite high, and fortunately, they were exceeded. The film delivered everything I anticipated and more. While I don't consider myself a professional film critic, especially not aiming to become one through feelming, I write based on my emotions and will continue to do so.
This was flawless. A feast for the eyes. I can't pinpoint anything that failed to impress or stir excitement within me. There's no urge to suggest, "Oh, I would change that." Everything unfolded as it should. Although I haven't read the book yet, I find it remarkable that a film addressing women's emancipation simultaneously and forcefully tackles political, societal, and interest-related themes. This stands as Lanthimos' best work to date. Personally, it is the finest, and my preferred, film of the year. I'm delighted that it happened to be the last movie I watched in the theater in 2023.
I hope you had the chance to discover your own Poor Things this year.
See you in 2024! 🎟️