Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Force (of Youth) Awakens at Movie

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Force (of Youth) Awakens at Movie

Article excerpt

As the poet Omar Khayyam observed long ago, "Now the New Year reviving old Desires / The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires." Or else the thoughtful soul goes to the movies, an option not available in Omar's time.

So last week I went to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and of course not in complete solitude, not with box office records being set everywhere.

Happily, my pal Mike - a member of our little group of guys dedicated to seeing films with no redeeming social value - accompanied me. The force was not with us, but we hoped the senior discounts were.

Purists might lodge the objection that the new Star Wars film has plenty of redeeming social value, being tip-top entertainment with spectacular special effects and an uplifting moral. After many adventures, good eventually triumphs over evil near the end of the last bag of popcorn.

The purists have a point but we went anyway because nobody has ever accused us of being pure. This was Episode VII, and I confess that I missed many of the intervening episodes. I realize that this is a sad waste of Roman numerals and now more Super Bowls will have to be played to employ the spares.

However, I do remember seeing the first film in 1977. Wait! Was it that long ago? Well, yes, and that is the frightening thing, that people of my vintage must cast their minds back - such parts of their minds that have survived the wear and tear - to ask the question of each other: Where were you when the first Star Wars movie came out?

I was in England, working on the sports desk of The Times of London and writing headlines that said: "Battling Briton Finishes 14th" or some variation thereof. It was a curious time of transition in my life, still a year away from my move to the United States.

So, in this unsettled state, the memory of where I actually saw the first Star Wars film soon disappeared. I imagine a plush but fading English cinema with a seedy charm and witty graffiti on the condom dispenser in the men's room. A label assured patrons that the dispenser met the relevant British standards, prompting wags to write: "So did the Titanic."

Alert readers - and blessings be upon all of you - may have figured out by now that this is not a movie review, although, for what it's worth, Mike and I enjoyed the movie and recommend it. …

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