Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Artificial World, Ordinary Lights

I literally rubbed elbows with Neve Campbell today. Can you believe that?

I mention this not to brag, exactly, but to point out of the strangeness of my life now compared to what it was when I first found out about this actress, when I sensibly presumed her name was pronounced to rhyme with Eve. That was a long time ago, but today we interacted, in the most technically accurate sense of the term. This was not unexpected: I was at a press event for Scream 4 and we were trying to pass each other in a crowded hallway. She shared a similar interaction with dozens of other pressfolk between the elevators and the hospitality suite, I’m sure, but it was noted and remembered by a guy who can so vividly remember being fourteen years old and stupid, being ridiculously well-versed in horror movies but never having seen a slasher film on the big screen, being in a dark theater and nerves exploding as he watched Neve (and Drew and Courteney and Rose and that’s it) attempt to evade pointy, corn syrupy death. But there she was, fifteen years older but still beautiful in that weird “pigtailed innocence but come-hither sensuality” way that someone, somewhere once described her as having.

I must say, from the movie fan’s perspective, the lack of distance between actors and audience kills the drama, generally speaking. I turns out I prefer my screen actors to remain on screen. But to a guy who really, truly loved that first Scream movie on a personal level — because it introduced him to a world of film genres as well as the concept of cinematic metatexts — and cared for (to an extent) the sequels, the whole experience of seeing a preview screening of Scream 4 and standing in the presence of the actors made me feel the passing of the years between 1996 and now in a way that thinning hair and slowing metabolism haven’t. And it made my current life feel strangely imaginary in a way I’m not sure I understand.

Regarding my thoughts on the film, I will say this much: I’m reluctant to give spoilers as to the identity of the killer in Scream 4, but I’ll at least say that I didn’t expect the killer to be an angry, unemployed Jennifer Love Hewitt (playing herself, of course).

I kid. But seriously: Maybe it will seem less strange if I think about it more? Or less?

Scream, previously:

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