Lines Composed When Going to Genesis Alone One Night: Why You Should Go to the Cinema on Your Own.

Received from:

One of my favourite parts of going to the cinema has always been that brief moment in between the adverts and the BBFC certificate. For me, it is a rare instance where you feel suspended between two worlds; light dissolves into darkness and the only sound is the quiet mumble of anticipation, that swiftly dissipates into silence. For a few seconds, you are teetering on the precipice between two worlds, occupying a seemingly divine void that overwhelms the senses.

This week I went to watch Logan, but instead of asking friends, I had a burning desire to go alone. This decision, I know, will raise a few eyebrows, as there is still a certain unwarranted stigma attached to those of us who chose to go on a solo outing to the cinema. This stigma, however, is not the product of malice, but rather social anxiety: we hate the notion of being judged on our aloneness; we feel a sense of vulnerability. Yet, despite these thoughts occupying my mind, this hedonic urge continued to overwhelm me and even though I arrived fifteen minutes late, I found that I was not treated like some weird lonely creature that had just crawled out of a cave. I got my ticket; went to the assigned screen; found a seat and that was that. A pretty underwhelming experience and one certainly not worthy of an article.

However, on this occasion, for some unknown reason, my solitude sparked a profound immersion; I became startlingly aware – more so than any other moment that I can recall – of how powerful the cinema is at bridging the gap between reality and fiction. Darkness descended, the screen went blank and for an instant I lost all sense of selfhood. I became a seemingly omnipotent observer, peering across into another world. My eyes never left the screen.

Now this probably has a lot to do with the fact that Logan is a fantastic piece of cinema – I expect you will not get the same results if you watch Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. However, I can imagine that my aloneness also significantly contributed to this feeling of transcendence. When you are on your own in the cinema, you do not sneak a look to see whether your friends found the last gag funny, or feel for the touch of a loved one as you slip your hand on top of theirs. You submit to the film; you let the ethereal light that shines from behind you guide you to a new reality. When one of my favourite moments occurred – that small gap between the trailers and the age restriction – I was not looking around trying to gage my social group’s feelings. Instead, that split second of darkness felt like I was blinking and, when my eyelids opened, I found my self surrounded by a new world that existed as tangibly as ours, until the credits rolled and the lights came on.

I am sorry I cannot offer you more insight into my own experience, and maybe I am being a tad Romantic (I do wonder how Wordsworth and Keats would have comprehended the cinema). But on this occasion, I was completely enamoured with the cinematic experience. Although it may seem daunting or even like a form of social suicide, I urge you to at least once in your life go and see a good film alone. Let the light from the projector transport you away from the baggage of your reality, feel your identity melt into the darkness and then become a true observer of some incredible story.

For those of you looking for something more than some short rambling, here is a link to a fantastic review of Logan that you should read: 

1 thought on “Lines Composed When Going to Genesis Alone One Night: Why You Should Go to the Cinema on Your Own.

  1. Very dramatic, however perhaps that technique has been used to emulate the drama and suspense of the motion feature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *