A few weeks back, I got the chance to head down into Nueva York to see a private screening of a little British film called “Son of Rambow.” While I loved the movie and will elaborate a bit more on why I did later, I figure a review or synopsis of the film is only going to tell you something that at least nine other Web sites could tell you. So, because I’m still new enough in this game to have the stars in my eyes after getting to see a “private screening,” I thought an account of my professional movie-going experience might be a little more interesting (other journalists and media folks, feel free to turn and leave the blog now or scroll on to another post—you’ve heard this song or danced this dance before).
“Son of Rambow” is a great film (don’t take my word for it, take the Sundance’s) about two young boys who become unlikely friends when they try to make their own action movie. One boy is from a religious group that forbids TV, and when he tries to help out a bully—who’s shooting footage for a young film makers competition and is being raised by his jerk brother since his parents have all but left the two alone—he watched a bootleg copy of First Blood as his first taste of the movies and becomes obsessed. The bully with the drive to make the film and the camera teams up with the goofy fount of imagination released from this timid kid after he sees Stallone in action and the two form a friendship and go about creating their film. Throw in a crazy French foreign exchange student, he production problems that hit every film managed by 11 year olds and the inevitable humor that comes along with it and you’ve got the supremely enjoyable “Son of Rambow.”
It’s got the laughs, tender moments and serious aspects to make it an extremely diverse film—I partially loved the film because it could access all those emotions—but in the end its a tale about childhood friendship and limitless imagination and a love for movies that we can all draw back to our youth. It was a really fantastic film, and as I first described it afterward, “If you have a heart, you can’t dislike this film.”
Now, as to how my attendance at this screening went down, here’s how it went:
Entertainment Editor Rickey Purdin got an e-mail asking if he wanted to send anyone to the screening. He asked, I said sure and so I was set for a trip down town.
The day of the screening, I left the office a bit early with staff writer Kevin Mahadeo—who was set to see a screening of Jackie Chan and Jet Li’s “Forbidden Kingdom”—and we headed into urban jungle.
After traffic and a search for parking, we arrived at the Dolby Building on 6th Ave.
We signed in, Kevin headed to a large screening room on the first floor and I head up to the twenty eighth floor where my smaller screening room was located (smaller movie, smaller screen).
Now here’s where it gets pretty cool….
So, i checked in again at the screening and pick up a press packet all about the film. The window in this office looks out on the city, twenty eight stories up and I realized this is the highest altitude I’ve watched a movie from short of an airplane and the occasional trip to Denver (which, sea level-wise is pretty high, though I wasn’t in a twenty eight story building).
After heading the the bathroom—for which I had to use a elementary school-style “bathroom pass” key, and yes, it was a rather bulky reel of film replica painted blue for the men’s room (pink for the ladies!)—I walked through two large doors into a small picture house that looked much like a nice home theater…only nicer…and twenty eight stories high.
I cozied up in one of the cushy armchair seats in the front row and sat amongst the other press scattered throughout the 20 seat room waiting for the film to start.
The film rolled, I enjoyed, I took an elevator down twenty eight floors and went home with a smile on my face after seeing such a pleasant movie.
That’s about it. It’s not the most super glamorous thing in the world but it’s still one of the fun little perks of the fourth estate. Hope that little window into my job was entertaining, and really do make an effort to see “Son of Rambow!” I’m a sucker for little indie films that leave you feeling good, but even if that isn’t your bag, everyone can relate to those childhood years of limitless imagination, friends without questions and the awe that all movies inspired then before we grew up, sat back and decided we’re all critics.