Recently, seemingly obscure and/or random movies have been infiltrating my life. You see, I have no real problem with this, however, after having a film pop-up over three times within a period of one week, it begins to feel not-so-coincidental and instead just weird.
Two weeks ago, I embarked on a cross-country trip to California via a ’99 red Chevy Cavalier. On day one, my copilot mentioned that she put Pee Wee’s Big Adventure on her laptop to watch. I laughed, found the movie fitting for our excursion, and recalled a random moment in history—when I was a freshman in college; a friend wrote a bogus grant that allowed access to the HUGE soccer dome on campus. There we projected Pee Wee’s Big Adventure on the inside of the dome and encouraged students to bring sleeping bags and lay on the Astroturf to watch the movie.
On day five of our trip (the first four were scenic-scapes of driving), we arrive in California. We take the BART to San Francisco and walk up one million hills. On the descent of the last hill, we land upon an old repertory theatre, whose marquee reads, “Tonight’s Movie: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.”
Day six, I walk into a kitsch/vintage store and a wind-up Pee Wee doll hangs in the window.
Day Seven, the last day in California. Somewhere in Chinatown, a dusty bobble-head-sized Pee Wee guards the cash register in a tourist market.
I get home and forget about Pee Wee’s strange inclusion in our journey; how this movie and others have found a way of infusing themselves into my life. When I thought all was safe, Pee Wee turned up again, almost an entire week after arriving home. Upon making an alteration appointment for a bridesmaids dress, I asked the man at the shop where exactly they were located. He gave me the precise location, and added that there is a different tailor next door and to make sure I go to the one with Pee Wee Herman in the window.
Now it had surpassed coincidence and chance.
What this made me realize is that the movies, as much as we may deny, are inescapable. Past and present films hold a prominent place in the collective conscious and unconscious, and have a tendancy to reveal themselves when the relevant time indicates. It seems that not a single day is able to go by without some mere mention or film reference. What will be next? Cool Hand Luke or reoccurring images of Paul Newman?
So my curiosity lingers, and wonders what the new film/image will be and how it will work itself into my life.