Sunday, January 25, 2009

Taking Off

Since I decided on starting this blog, I should probably explain the title I chose for it.

The very last seat on the right, in the very last row in the back of the theater, was always the favorite seat of Jan Olszewski's, a Polish film critic that I owe everything to. He was the one that (without even knowing that) started me on going to the movies regularly and writing about them. It was the biggest thrill of my life when I met him when I was 18. We went to see a Bertolucci movie together ("Partner", 1968), and he told me that he *always* seats in the last row on the extreme right, so as to follow not only the movie itself, but also people's reaction to it.

For a long time I tried to fool myself into thinking that this is my favorite place to sit, too -- just as I tried to mimic Olszewski's writing style as much as possible. Now I can freely admit to myself that I don't like to seat in the back at all, and that one *can* write in a different way than Olszewski and *still* be a decent enought critic. But somewhere there, in the back of my head, there always rings a question after the lights go up: what would Olszewski make of the movie I just watched...?

Thus, even though I prefer sitting in the middle section of the theater now, there's a little "last seat on the right" always in my mind.