Since the Milos Forman event sold out Thursday, I wanted to be sure to get in to at least one where the director was present. I already saw "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" so was hoping to see "Taking Off," his first American film, showing 6 pm Friday. I called in the morning to check availability, but they only said to come after 1 to get tickets. I got there around 1:15, and everything was still available, so got "Taking Off" and since I was there, a movie starting at 1:30 called "Now I'll Tell." I also got advance tix for Monday, since L wanted to come and I didn't want to be closed out (this cost .50 per ticket, so no big deal).
"Now I'll Tell" was in a building down the street but I found it and got there in time. The audience was on the older side; probably many members are retired and have time to sit in movies during the day. The movie was from 1934, starring Spencer Tracy as a glib gambler with a trusting wife and girlfriend on the side (Alice Faye) who's also involved with Tracy's mobster rival. It was an old-fashioned black-and-white movie with fake-looking sets, but pretty good.
While waiting for the movie to start, I noticed that the guest pass attached to L's ticket said Sunday even though the ticket was Monday. When I was standing outside afterward looking at the ticket, the guard immediately asked if he could help. No loitering allowed in MoMA, apparently. I showed him the tickets and he directed me to the desk. This was the education building, but they were able to ascertain it was an error and reissued the pass for Monday. Good thing I noticed.
I had time to kill before the next movie so went across to the Donnell. Upstairs, they have comfortable chairs but I couldn't find one directly under a light so sat at a table. I found a book I'm reading at home, and alternated that, my US magazine, and puzzles until it was time to go back for the next movie.
Signs indicated both Forman movies were now sold out, so I was glad I got the ticket earlier. "Taking Off" was so full they made everyone get back to their seats in order to determine that 4 more people could be let in. This crowd was much younger, well mixed agewise. A row of young guys in front of me appeared to be film students. John Guare introduced the producer of the movie, and then Forman himself. They told some anecdotes which almost gave away a line from the end. The movie was very 1971, about a young girl who runs away to the Village from comfortable suburbia, pursued by her parents. I was exactly the right age to have been one of these hippies but I was so not a hippie. A funny sequence where the parents learn to smoke pot to better relate to their kids struck me as ultimately pro-drug. I wasn't crazy about the drunk scenes either. I'm terminally goody-goody. The movie was light and funny, and even had Tina Turner and a young Carly Simon and Kathy (billed as "Bobo") Bates. It's not out on DVD, reportedly due to music rights problems.
There was a huge mob waiting to get into "Cuckoo's Nest" and I thought I saw Michael Douglas in the upstairs lobby. Yup, that was him, according to Getty Images - but I didn't see Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was also there. MoMA is some classy place!
FreshDirect came early today, so I'm free to spend yet more time in the movies if I can get tickets. I'm not sure if this movie/book/puzzle (and sometimes TV and radio) escapism is any better than the substance escapism I constantly decry. It has to be less physically damaging, unless you count eyesight.
Oh, my procrastination got the better of me once again. For weeks I'd seen "Gone Baby Gone" on the Moving Image schedule for Monday, with a live appearance by Amy Adams. I finally called Thursday to reserve, only to find it's full. Grumble, they should say so on the web site. And grumble to me, for not booking sooner. I'd like to see more Oscar contenders this week, but am not sure if that will happen.