I grew up loving movies. One of my favorite things to do was to go to the Movie Warehouse and browse the shelves for something new and interesting. Unfortunately, my options were somewhat limited, considering a grew up with very religious parents who didn't want anything rated higher than PG in their house. Expansion occurred when I went to college and I was able to see some things I had never imagined. I watched Donnie Darko in the early hours of the morning, having heard of it, but not expecting the utter bizarreness of the thing. I loved it. Fight Club was another. It was deep and violent and I hadn't had the ending spoiled. Vanilla Sky was a weird and dreamy thing of beauty. These films presented a form of the medium I had never even expected to exist, given my very sheltered upbringing.
The fourth film on my list is American Beauty, which, for a very long time, I considered to be my absolute favorite film (and it's still one of my favorites). It serves as a perfect example of one of my favorite self-defined sub-genres: movies about the fear and pain and nastiness that lies beneath the shining and supposedly-perfect facade of suburbia (see also: Revolutionary Road and Little Children, as well as, of course, the classic The Stepford Wives). Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, a man who tires of suburban insipidness and decides to no longer care. This storyline is supplemented by a large cast of characters with their own issues, problems, and desires as the film takes on such issues as drug use, homosexuality, statutory rape, and the supposed American Dream.
Tinseltown presents two screenings of American Beauty tomorrow, Wednesday, at 2:00 and 7:00, as this week's installment in the Cinemark Classics series. Tinseltown is located at 4400 Towne Center Drive. Further theater information and advance ticket sales can be found at the Tinseltown website.
Image: Internet Movie Database