November 20, 1994

Pulp Fiction

Second time seeing Pulp Fiction. You can forgive me if I cannot recount specific memories from each showing, but they've all blended together!

November 19, 1994

Star Trek: Generations

This is the "bridge" movie, and I don't mean they never leave the ship: This is the movie where William Shatner is strapped into his Starfleet uniform for the last time to say farewell, and the Next Generation cast hits the big screen. This is also where they say farewell to the old Enterprise-D: the saucer section and the stardrive separate, the stardrive section explodes, and the saucer emergency-lands on a planet's surface. The first time the Enterprise-D did the Transformers thing was in the pilot episode of the Next Generation TV show. It had been well-documented during the TV show's run that this emergency landing was possible, but it had never happened. In fact, during the 176 episode series, the saucer and stardrive never separated again after the pilot episode. During Generations, when Riker orders the separation, I went into a fanboy euphoria: finally, I was going to see the fabled emergency landing! It was totally worth it. (November 19 and 24, 1994)

November 11, 1994

Clerks.

The most claustrophobic film I've ever seen (not set in a submarine). Nearly the whole movie takes place in a convenience store with the shutters down. Director Kevin Smith shot the movie after hours, so the shutters enabled night-for-day shooting. Clerks would make a good play- one set only!

Randal: Salsa shark! We're gonna need a bigger boat! Man goes into cage, cage goes into salsa. Shark's in the salsa. Our shark.
(Nickelodeon theater, Comm. Ave, Boston)

November 8, 1994

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (free preview screnning)

It's remarkable how different vampire movies use the vampires to symbolize different ideas. It's probably why the vampire myth is so enduring. This is my second movie based on a Anne Rice novel this year.
(Cheri theater, Back Bay)

The Year of Free Preview Screenings

I attended sixteen free preview screenings in 1994. Movie studios frequently hold free screenings, always on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, often a full week ahead of their release. These screenings are intended as either press-only screenings, or general-audience screenings to build "buzz" before opening weekend. Both of these types of screenings require a pass, which would often be handed out at the Emerson student union, for example. From May to December 1994, I worked at a video laserdisc sales & rental store called Laser Craze. The shop was located on Newbury Street, next to Sonsie (a shoe shop is there now). As movie fans, all us clerks wanted to go to many preview screenings. A friend of one of the clerks worked at Kinko's, and he frequently made counterfeit full-color, two-sided copies of the passes required to enter the screenings. The front of the pass was generally a reproduction of the poster, and the reverse listed the date, time, and place of the screening. As a result, I saw several of the best pictures of 1994 early and for free. I also saw several of the worst films I've ever encountered.

November 2, 1994