Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Seen on the Big Screen in Montana

Almost every time we’ve gone to the movies this year, we’ve discussed whether or not we’d be getting popcorn. Almost every time, we do, but this time, in Missoula, Montana, we were giving serious consideration to not. But then we saw that the popcorn was served in metal bowls. Myself, I realized that by not using a disposable paper cup for my popcorn, I could be saving the planet. I try never to pass up an opportunity to save the planet.

And they offered a variety of seasonings for the popcorn, including hemp. This is a clue you are at an independently run theater. I did not use the hemp, but I did use the garlic salt.

The Roxy has only been an independent art house for the last four years. It was built in 1937, but was damaged by a fire and rebuilt in 1994. It now relies on volunteers and membership plans to keep running.

The Roxy runs a number of special series, along with regular releases. In November they had a comedy series on Wednesday nights. I snuck my head in the door before a screening of Bridesmaids and heard a local stand-up comic introducing the film with his set.

Looking at the December newsletter, I saw a number of series coming up. Unsurprisingly, “‘Tis The Season” is one of them, featuring Gremlins, Home Alone, Scrooged, Christmas Vacation, Elf, Die Hard, and It’s a Wonderful LIfe. They also have a series on “Movie Cult” and “Essential Cinema.” In fact, we saw a trailer for Alien as a part of the Cult, though it probably should have been a part of the Essential Series. They also run local films, such as the Montana made I’m a Patriot.

It follows the life of a young, gay African American growing up with a meth addicted mother in Miami. Three different actors play Chiron in three different stages of life: pre-adolescent, mid-teen, and young adult.

There are no Movie Churches in the film, but there is one character who talks about praying for others and who treats people with kindness. And that character is the drug dealer played by Ali. Yup, the drug dealer and his girlfriend are the people in the film who have the most love and compassion for others. Sadly, we mostly see people without any compassion in the film; bullying and selfishness tend to rule the day. The film reminds us how necessary small acts of kindness are in this world.

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