Some people I’ve talked to about this Movie a Day series have said, well, sure, you can find interesting movies in New York, but it’s not so easy out here. We just have one art house within driving distance, or none, or one movie theater, period. Like the great Humungus, I feel their pain: One of the things I love about New York is how easy it is to find good movies here. But trust me, you can do that anywhere these days. Some places just require more digging than others.
I know because I’ve spent most of my adult life in towns that didn’t have a ton of movie options, and I still write about movies for a newspaper entertainment supplement in Central Jersey. Every week, I review a movie that has just opened or is about to play in a theater in one of the towns covered by our dozen or so papers. These include college towns like Princeton and New Brunswick, which have a lot more options than average, but the pickings can still get anorexic when you rule out the movies that anyone with a high-speed internet connection and some on-demand movie channels can find on DVD, on TV, or online. But interesting movies also get screened at quite a few non-commercial theaters, mostly in colleges and libraries, but sometimes at outdoor festivals or other places too.
Take this week, for instance. When I saw that the only new movies opening in TimeOFF’s area were The A-Team and The Karate Kid, a pair of ’80s retreads, I kept looking. Turns out Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones is screening next week at Princeton’s public library. I’d liked the bits and pieces I’d seen in passing on TV over the years, so I was glad for the excuse to see it yesterday (I downloaded a streaming video from Netflix and watched it on my laptop). Here’s my TimeOFF review.
Elise Nakhnikian has been writing about movies since the best way to learn about them was through alternative weeklies. She is currently the movie reviewer for TimeOFF. She also has her own blog, Girls Can Play, and a Twitter account.