Late Monday Afternoon


You’re working for the Loews 19th Street plex and it’s time to change the marquee. Space dictates an abbreviation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. So you decide upon “Benjamin Button” or maybe “Ben Button” if you’re running out of letters. But what kind of idiot would go with “Ben Buttons“? Or, for that matter, just plain “Marley” when all you need to add is “& Me”?

Outside the Time-Warner center last night prior to the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s q & a with Benjamin Button director David Fincher, which happened inside the Rose theatre on the 5th floor. Fincher was fine, amused, amusing, etc.

A hand-painted Eastern European one-sheet for Alfred Hitchcock‘s Spellbound (’45), hanging in the lobby of the Walter Reade theatre.

It’s 5:55 pm and I’m sitting inside a Cosi chain restaurant — great soups, excellent breads, good coffee, etc. — on Park and 21st. (That’s Jett sitting at the rear table.) Waiting for the NYFCC awards dinner to start at 6:30 pm. It’ll be happening just a block away.

25 thoughts on “Late Monday Afternoon

  1. Nice pics, Jeff.

    You are a cranky codger, aren’t you? Perhaps they didn’t have an ampersand hanging around to pair with Marley.

    [Blah, blah...deleted]

  2. “what kind of idiot would go with ‘Ben Buttons’?”

    If people working at lower-level jobs were capable of paying attention to detail, taking pride in whatever they do, being willing to make an effort, maybe they wouldn’t be working at lower-level jobs.

  3. I once walked past a theater in Maine that was advertising the film: “Lair Lair”

    However, my favorite of all time has to be the now closed bar (I’m blanking on the name for some reason– Q’s Riverbottom?) that is across the street from Warner Brothers. The band for that night was: “ANUS JOPLIN TRIBUTE”

  4. “If people working at lower-level jobs were capable of paying attention to detail, taking pride in whatever they do, being willing to make an effort, maybe they wouldn’t be working at lower-level jobs.”

    Uh, no. No, that’s not really it at all.

    All of this because of an extra “S?” Seriously? Maybe the person was getting creative and thinking “Ben Button’s [Curious Case]” would be a good abbreviation, but lacked an apostrophe.

    Has anyone here had to change a marquee before? Trust me, it’s not easy — the process is cumbersome and time consuming, you often lack the equipment (and letters) you need, there are often people in your way, and the elements can be a bitch (esp. this time of year)…if you can tell what movies are playing, the person did just fine.

    Ok, that’s officially the longest Internet rant ever about a damn marquee.

  5. Hate it when Jeff deletes stuff. It always makes me so curious. Jeff, freedom of speech babe!! Let the snark flow freely! It’s what all of us at Elsewhere do best. Did you mean 19th st., by the way? Not 16th?

  6. Watch it, Breed, you might be next ;) He simply misspelled Loews, probably a typo. He obviously didn’t find it ironically amusing.

  7. The kid who changed the marquee probably has a subversive wit. When I was in high school, I once switched two letters on a highway marquee, changing it from

    FREE SM DRINK W/ CHICKEN BAS [ket]

    to

    FREE BM DRINK W/ CHICKEN ASS

  8. that might be the best two-letter change in the history of marquees, arturo. kind of like a scrabble zen thing going on there. even the bm drink has me thinking “bowel movement?” perfect.

  9. Considering every occasion on which I’ve ever seen footage of a chicken factory, the change was probably most appropriate.

    (and yes, I still eat the stuff)

  10. “Has anyone here had to change a marquee before? Trust me, it’s not easy…if you can tell what movies are playing, the person did just fine.”

    I changed a marquee a few times back in the day, and it wasn’t some low hanging one like this appears to be, it was one of these tall ass ones next to a large highway for a Regal Cinemas. Probably 40-50 feet up, so you had to use a this massive expandable pole to stick them up there, one letter at a time.

    It definitely wasn’t easy as there was probably 12 movies playing and the sign (on both sides) was big enough to almost fit all of their complete titles.

    Having said that, even in a low paying -shit-job like that, you should be able to maintain some level of professionalism and not make such a half assed effort.

  11. Wish the kid had grabbed the opportunity with both hands and stuck “7lb” up there with his retractable pole.

  12. I love, LOVE the 2nd photo. It’s so beautiful.

    and you’re right that those critics are way too scared to choose Wall-E…. animated films are still seen as a “taboo” unless they’re done in an abstract way and spoken in a foreign language.

    Sigh.

  13. I love, LOVE the 2nd photo. It’s so beautiful.

    and you’re right that those critics are way too scared to choose Wall-E…. animated films are still seen as a “taboo” unless they’re done in an abstract way and spoken in a foreign language.

    Sigh.

  14. Count me as another CHE lover, and I think Edward hits the nail on the head when he says it’s more about revolution than Che himself. It’s a clinical study, which is normally not my type of film, but it’s done with such great detail and unexpected humor that I was won over. And yes, watching the whole 4 hour cut is crucial – the second half wouldn’t work as well without seeing the first half.

    As good as Spader is in sex, lies and videotape, what I remember are the performances of Andie MacDowell and Laura San Giacomo. Both take cliched roles and invest them with a lot more. I always thought San Giacomo would become a star after that movie.

    My favorite Soderbergh films are, in order they were made:

    SLV

    KING OF THE HILL

    THE UNDERNEATH (his most underrated, I’d argue)

    SCHIZOPOLIS (this succeeded where FULL FRONTAL failed, I’d say)

    OUT OF SIGHT

    THE LIMEY

    ERIN BROCKOVICH

    TRAFFIC (though I agree The Wire goes a lot further than this movie did in showing the cost of the drug war)

    SOLARIS (I do agree with Hoberman, who pointed out the oddity that the remake was liked most by those who liked the original, which is usually not the case)

    CHE

    I even think KAFKA isn’t as bad as its reputation. True, it’s just an exercise, but unlike THE GOOD GERMAN, it’s an enjoyable one.

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