A few nights ago I ventured to the opening weekend of FSU’s fall movie series for a viewing of Hot Fuzz (2007), a modern take on “black comedy.”
It was a midnight show, preceded by a montage of what I think were coming attractions. The montage was quick-cut visual clips with a soundtrack. The students around me kept laughing at visual cues which must be inside jokes for their generation because I didn’t get a single one of them, though it may just have been a case of being preoccupied with trying to identify the catchy song on the soundtrack, which sounded so good in context (the context of me being odd man out in a college audience who were laughing their heads off at things like exploding heads) that I was relieved when it turned out to be this, because it meant I wouldn’t have to track it down:
I think the head exploded on “listen to my heart pound” which is so post-modern it’s pre-modern, which I finally realize may have been the whole point–to render everything moot.
It wasn’t necessarily the best thought to have once Hot Fuzz got going because the whole movie seemed bent on making the same point. It’s not good to be depressed about the depraved state of the very modern, very present world when you should be laughing at all the things nobody else gets–and not laughing when they do.
Not the first time I ever felt that in a movie theater, but it was the most complete example of the experience I’ve had, one I’ll always be able to look back on as a point when I drifted just that extra bit further from the world as it is that going one step further (or being pushed one step further, if you like), might turn me from a bemused skeptic into a mere cynic.
In was in that frame of mind that I heard the only clever use of music on the Hot Fuzz soundtrack and experienced something akin to existential despair at being put ever-so-briefly back in touch with the human race–something engendered (because it was never before necessary) by not a single one of a thousand previous encounters:
After that, I just laughed along with everybody else (though not at the pulverized head–destroying heads had become a theme), sat it through to the end, and got out as quick as I could.
Sometimes we save ourselves, though. When I got in the car to go home I had the last disc of The Doo Wop Box II cued up in the CD player. I’d played the first half driving in.
Good thinking. I played the last half driving home.
But really, I was fine before I cleared campus. By the time the second track came on in fact.
By then, I was thinking, Take it Gene….
You should only take so many chances, though.
The next night was American Psycho.
I skipped that one.