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Movie Recommendation: Beginners

by on June 11, 2011

Last week I did the unusual.  I went to a movie.  Even more unusually, I went to a screening.  It becomes more unusual than that.  It was the second screening of the movie Beginners; the first screening was in Los Angeles, this second screening in Santa Barbara, about a hundred miles north of Los Angeles.  In the words of the writer and director: “this is a strange screening for me.  I grew up in this town.”

Paul Mills was the director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.  The movie ‘Beginners’ is written and directed by his son Mike Mills.  My family had reason to know the director of the museum; naturally, along with that comes knowing the son of the director.  I never met Paul Mills, and I met Mike Mills for the first time at this screening, but Mike knows my family well.  He came to our home before the screening to say hello – in the manner it was done, it seems he came to pay his respects, though the feeling should be mutual – before collecting his entourage – there were seven of us – and heading off to the theater.

Mike Mills met as at the door.  And he led us into the theater.  It can be difficult, when doing something unusual, to keep your wits about you.  So we entered a packed auditorium and said ‘we usually sit a third of the way up’ (that’s two-thirds of the way down), so down we went.  But the auditorium was packed.  It took a moment to notice that row which we had passed “RESERVED FOR THE GUESTS OF MICHAEL MILLS”.  That’s us.  It produces a feeling of self-consciousness to sit in a row marked for the guests of the director.

I hope you find a theater near you with “Beginners.” Watch a good movie.

From → Life

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