Because it occurred on or around a day that looms so large in the general awareness, the recollection of seeing those films (or so many others) is more vivid. I’ll never forget the sold-out performance of “Into the Woods” that my Louisiana family and I saw in 2014, when a fourth of the audience left before the musical’s final song was finished. Or the time my grandmother and I were watching “Spanglish” while the rest of the gang was watching “Meet the Fockers.”
Movies for this christmas
This week, you might like to watch “Soul” and “Wonder Woman 1984” with your family or friends at home. Perhaps you’ll watch them alone because you prefer to avoid social situations, which is how you prefer to go to the movies in the first place. Maybe you won’t be bothered if you don’t go to the movies on Christmas Day because nothing in 2020 suggests that anything so aggressively conventional should ever be feasible. Regardless, this is a tradition that has been robbed not by the unyielding powers of commerce and technology, which have digitised our watching habits, but by a pandemic that has uprooted our personal liberties. “Whoa, my family isn’t going to the cinema on Christmas Day for the first time in 15+ years,” said one family member. I wish we could be certain that the following year will be better. I sincerely hope so.
The vaccine is here, and cinemas throughout the country may be able to reopen, allowing us to see Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited “West Side Story,” a new “Spider-Man,” and an original Hollywood drama from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, starring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt. But things are already tumultuous. Warner Bros. confirmed earlier this month that all of its 2021 films will now be released in October, including “Dune,” which was set to debut last week but will instead be released in October. and “The Matrix 4” — will premiere on HBO Max the same day they hit cinemas, setting a potentially dangerous precedent in the industry by encouraging people to stay at home long after COVID-19 has concluded. We lose a piece of pop culture that we share in a practical sense without Christmas at the movies, one that demands more work than a remote control can provide. We’ve lost a tradition that allows us to slow down and enjoy something relaxing. We lose a location to take our nosy in-laws, a place where we can get away from the year’s craziness, even if only for a few hours.
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