Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand are at an impasse in 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - 20th Century Fox

COLUMN: Blue overalls can be discussed in the drifting snow

Savouring Frances McDormand's attire in her latest film

“Well I just wondered why she wore the same blue overalls every day and never changed her hair.” ” Who? The Francis McDormand character? Ya. “I replied with that blank gaze my friends know so well. Chalk powder snow was floating past the glow of the theatre marquee. A few stragglers ambled down the stairs with that ‘where did we park the car’ look in their eyes.

“I think the director was just being clever.” our street-side companion offered while I glanced at a bright poster on the outside wall. ” Low wardrobe budget. ” I suggested. ” The Golden Globes said it was an indie film.” “Nope”, my movie date concluded, ” Her life had been ripped apart by her daughter’s death. Nothing else mattered. Why should she change clothes?”

We all nodded, then separated to our cars as people drifted by heading toward other distractions. It was 9:30 on a Friday night. Not too late, not too early. Still enough time to do more at the start of a weekend or to fade home, watch the news, and maybe check to see what’s playing next.

We had just watched ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri ‘ I enjoy that transition time after a movie when you watch the credits to see who performed a particular song or chat with someone as you toss away your recycling.

I love it when people just decide to clap at the end of a movie even though everyone knows the performers can’t hear you. A communal show of appreciation. I can’t do that in front of my 44″ flat screen.

Last week my movie date Shared a TED talk. ” The Strongest Predictor on How Long You’ll Live.’ Yes you should stop smoking, exercise, blah blah. No mention of popcorn. But at the top of the list was ‘Close Relationships’ and ‘Social Integration’. Do you have someone you can share moments with? Do you talk to everyday people you meet everyday? Do you leave your TV or books for a while and stand in the drifting snow chatting after a movie? You should . You’ll live longer.

If you don’t have a date the Civic has you covered. Go to their Facebook page or website and read about Films with Friends meetups. Moviegoers meet for coffee/tea at Cake Betty and then walk 20 meters to a movie.

As the folks in the Civic Theatre Society will tell you the Civic is ‘ More Than Just the Movies ‘ They’re right of course but the period between the blockbuster Christmas movie and the Oscars is a great season for cinema and the programming team indulge us with a selection of film that is getting the buzz at the award shows. It’s the smaller films with real dialogue, great performances from the knowns and the unknowns, directors with a unique style, and songs I want to look up and download afterward.

So, once Jason finishes talking to distributors, negotiating rates and dates, and growing a grayish beard here’s what to watch for. Director del Toros masterwork The Shape of Water’, Gary Oldman in ‘ The Darkest Hour’ , ‘The Post’ a relevant Spielberg tale with Mrs. Streep and Mr Hank, Danial Day Lewis’ performance in ‘ The Phantom Thread’, William Dafoe’s nominated performance in ‘ Florida Project’, another Oscar contender ‘Mollys Game’, plus reappearances of ‘Three Billboards’ and ‘Lady Bird’. Then the one man programming team will fill the gaps with foreign film contenders, the REEL ROCK tour for the adventure seekers, films for a young at heart audience and some fun. And that’s where the week starts. Jumanji!

If you savour a moment of light away from your dark street on a winters evening, if you choose to live longer by chatting with friends under the movie marquee, or if you simply agree with my friend who revealed with a hushed whisper ” I can drink a pop and eat just a bit of popcorn cause…, shhhh, I’m at the movies.” then maybe I’ll see you at the Civic over the next two months.

May is a movie buff & Society director

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