Flicks and Moulin Rouge

Mon Oct 8th, 2001 8:30:48 PM PST

Diary Entry 51
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I went to see Moulin Rouge at the on-campus Stanford student film ``Flicks'' last night. It turned out to be more than I'd bargained for.

At Michigan State, the student-run films were just that: films,projected unprofessionally on small screens with bad sound. No frills, no thrills. It's very different here at Stanford. They've transformed watching a movie into an experience. A really weird experience, in fact.

There was lots going on before the movie started. We arrived at probably 9:45 for the 10:00 pm show. As we sat down, people were throwing paper airplanes, wadded up paper, shredded newspapers, you name it, at each other. I don't mean just a few people, I mean probably 80% of the people in this medium-size auditorium. This was the sort of thing that would never have been allowed at Michigan State. Apparently it was expected here; the periodic announcements on the screen above warned against throwing hard objects. There were individuals throwing things, and every minute or two some group that had been saving up paper would suddenly jump up and pelt the other half of the auditorium all at once. I was glad that I had my glasses and my baseball cap to protect me.

When ten o'clock rolled around, the lights dimmed and an unseen announcer said, ``We've got something special for you this year: a previews trailer!'' and the trailer rolled. And as it did, an unseen group in the balcony above dumped an enormous quantity of shredded newspaper down into our seating area. Most of it hit the row right in front of where my friends and I were sitting. As for the trailer, it was surprisingly well done, a medley of excerpts from the movies to be shown this quarter. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is going to be on around Halloween time. Yay!

After the trailer, there was another short. This one was taken from last Tuesday's ``Full Moon on the Quad.'' I didn't go to that event, because it's for undergrads mostly (and I didn't know the right night ;-), but I was amused by the trailer, which was, again, well done. If you don't know what Full Moon on the Quad is, then type it into Google and find out.

After that, there was a competition between the undergrad residences to see which of them had brought the most students to the movie. The winning dorm got a PlayStation II, the runner-up an el-cheapo off-brand DVD player.

Then the movie started, and what a movie it was. I hadn't seen Moulin Rouge before, but I want to see it again. It's 2 hours of wild craziness, highs and lows, great fun. It's by the same guys who did Romeo and Juliet a few years ago, and it's in the same style. Very cool. The audience was more interactive than I've ever seen a movie crowd before (except at showing of Rocky Horror of course). Lots of fun.

I think I'll have to go to the rest of the ``Flicks'' season, too.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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