1. “The Niles Files: Remembrance of Matinees Past.” Niles Schwartz on why we can’t let go of the past at the movies.
“It’s obvious that what we’re looking at, assuming I’m measuring the demographic correctly, are the films of our own lifelines, and in remembering those moving pictures we’re struggling to remember the consonance and reason of our lives and relationships. That’s kind of the allure of motion pictures anyway–the alchemy of taking something still and lifeless, and through a magic spindle and light, resurrecting it. It bridges on a kind of religious longing for the eternal, or as Martin Scorsese remarked, ’The reality is, for people who create anything…you always want to be remembered.’ There’s something vain and Promethean about it all, but natural and very human. The library’s microfiche set aside by Internet and a collector’s rarities now in the widely graspable realm of YouTube, our nostalgia is coddled and nurtured. The instinct for solipsism thrives with this annotated moving archive at our fingertips. The memorializing process is a constant sacrament combating the instinct to forget, ’Do this in memory of me’ intoned every week as in the Christian Eucharist or a steady and consistent prayer regiment. The link back is preserved, not with bread and wine, but He-Man ads and Jem movies.”