I went to see Eastern Promises a few evenings ago (it was good but A History of Violence was better) and the walk to the theatre took me right by the set for The Incredible Hulk. The stretch of Yonge Street between Gerrard and Dundas, a busy area, was closed for evenings and nights for a few days while the film’s final showdown was being filmed in faux-Harlem. You would think that in this day and age of CGI a blockbuster of this sort wouldn’t need to close down such a busy street to do its filming. But no, here they are inconveniencing everyone but the Teamsters, the extras and the cops getting paid extra to sit around doing nothing.
My camera, and its new lens, was with me so I pulled it out, took a few photos and quickly packed it away. I’ve always been a bit self-conscious with the camera — more so with the large and bulky SLR — which is why the photos I’ve taken have been predominantly landscapes or cityscapes that involve few, if any, people. Most were taken in isolation where there was no reason to be self-conscious. It feels different in the city.
Anyway, with it packed away I made my way to the movie just in time for the 9:30 showing. The movie started a little after 9:50. Twenty fucking minutes of trailers and commercials. I thought “oh yeah, this is why I don’t go to the theatre anymore!” The shock was even more pronounced after seeing 31 movies at the film festival where I never had to endure more than two minutes of pre-film bumpers. But twenty minutes? For a film that I paid more to see than at the film festival? I think I’ll save the “cinema experience” for the next film festival.
On the way back I stopped by the south side of the film shoot for a different perspective. After taking a photo or two a group (gaggle?) of women walked by pointing and saying “Paparazzi. Paparazzi.” One of them pulled out a cellphone camera. I looked at them and said that I’m not. “I’m just a guy with a big camera.” They didn’t believe, said “paparazzi” one more time and moved on. If random women are going to be conversing with me on the street then I’m not sure if I should remain self-conscious or if I should wield that camera exclusively.