PUTNEY — I have been a moviegoer all my life. When given the choice of seeing a movie or doing almost anything else, I always choose the film.
On a recent rainy Sunday, I saw the Killers of the Flower Moon, a film which you have to be dead not to have heard of at this point. I had read the book years ago (David Grann), and had been intrigued by the story, particularly the history of how the FBI became a real government agency. I often assess real-life events with the question, "Would this make a good movie?"
Years passed, and then I read that Martin Scorsese had chosen it for his next project. Scorsese was "working on a film based on historical events." Tales of his wish to preserve everything truthful about the story: the detail of Native Americans of Osage blood who were weaving the same fabrics worn by their forbears, how the actors would speak the Osage language, that the living descendants would be in the film. History and truth were the ideals that would be preserved. But when?
My 3.5-hour experience in watching this film was something I have rarely felt in a movie house. Awe was my first and still-prominent feeling.
Everyone who chooses to spend this amount of time in a movie theater with others is part of a collective and selective experience. There is no break for a quick look at screens, bathroom trips, or the like.
Seeing a film has a beginning and an end. One can go to a museum and spend as much time as needed to appreciate a piece of art. One can bookmark Dostoevsky whenever it gets too tiresome. Not so with moviegoing - you are in it, or you are not. It is a time-selective art form, much like theater.
My first thought when I awoke the next day was "I should see it again." It's another rainy day....
This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.