I don't usually write about my encounters with "famous" people. And the one I'm about to tell you about doesn’t revolve around a particularly famous person. But he is special, and I read about him today so that's why...
It was 2009 and I was on my way to view Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces, the latest starring Penelope Cruz. It was one of my very firsts (if not my first) assignments as a film critic. Not that I was a film critic. I was actually just an intern for a film site. I knew I wanted to be an entertainment journalist, but at the time, I didn't really know what that meant. So I went to this screening, not knowing what to expect.
I drove into the Sony lot, and gave a burly guard my ID. And then the gates opened, and I fell in love. Not with the Sony studio, but with the feeling of being in a studio lot. (Thankfully, I've managed to hold on to this feeling of curiosity and excitement. It's somewhat magical, but also intrusive. Still, I can't help but smile whenever I get invited to one of these screenings. Movie theaters are great, but movie theaters inside studios are exclusive.
As I rushed to the screening room, I noticed two men waiting for an elevator. They must've noticed I was lost because one asked me where I was going. I told him, and he said, "This way," pointing to the elevator.
After getting on the elevator, I immediately recognized one of the men. He was a frequent guest on one of my favorite TV shows, The Rotten Tomatoes Show, which I would later intern for. I liked him, not just because he was a critic, but also because he was highly opinioned. Plus, anyone who knew that much about movies was very smart in my book.
Before the elevator doors opened, he turned to me and asked, "So, you're a critic?" He caught me off-guard. He wasn’t being rude or sarcastic. I’m good at reading people. But he asked in a way that also said, you're very young to be a critic. I was a teenager after all.
"Trying to be," I said.
"Aren't we all?" He said.
"In the same way that the original 1979 “Mad Max” was the “Citizen Kane” of gut-bucket Australian exploitation cinema, “Mad Max: Fury Road” may well be the “Götterdämmerung” of drive-in movies."