I’ve been to the movie theater twice before last night, and I wanted to talk about it on the blog, but both times I’ve been, it was in the middle of the village stay, and it was lost in the sea of other things that were going on. I pointed out earlier this week that the theatre was still playing Mamma Mia!, but today they finally got a couple new movies in the schedule at Magik Cinema, and so a large contingent of group 81 made plans to head over.
While I was at the internet café posting last night’s blog, Blakey, Supy, and Jordan began preparing dinner at my house. Blakey and Supy bought some carbonerra –flavored pasta, and I had called Jordan in advance and had him pick up a loaf of bread so we could make grilled cheese. I met up with Paul around the internet café, and when he and I finished, we both headed back to my place and the 5 of us ate.
I introduced them to adding honey and rosemary to the inner side of either piece of bread. I discovered this revolutionary change in grilled cheese production when Luisa and I used to occasionally hold Grilled Cheese Experiment Nights. It’s glorious. It will blow your mind.
After dinner, we headed to the movies.
The outside of the movie theater is not much to write home about (literally, apparently), but once you get inside the lobby, it does feel surprisingly similar to a Cineplex in The States. It’s air conditioned and clean and has real tile floors and interior decorating that feels generically corporate, which is strangely comforting.
Blakey also pointed out that the theatre has a “fountain pop.” At first I thought she was using a quaint Samoan phrase; something akin to “ice bob,” which are the popular ice pops they sell in the village (I really need to blog about Samoan confusion of the English uses of the letters “B” and “P”.). In any case, it took me a moment to realize that Blakey wasn’t using a quaint Samoan phrase, but rather, a quaint Minnesotan phrase. You mean like a “SODA fountain,” Blakey? Ha.
The theatre itself gives a surprisingly American experience as well. The seats are a cheap, red crushed velvet, and the flatness of the theatre is reminiscent of the now closed Festival Cinema that used to be across the street from Kennedy Park in Hayward. When was the last time you went to the movies and didn’t have stadium seating? It’s a blast from the past, right?
The movie we saw was “Body of Lies” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, a spy thriller that felt like a cheap John LeCarre story. I had mixed feelings.
It was appropriate that we went to the movies last night being that the Academy Award nominations were announced yesterday. I was really hoping that they’d include a film or two that I’d already seen, but I think everything up for best picture has been released since I arrived in Samoa. I guess I should just be happy that I have already seen “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Anyway, we got into the movie after the lights had already gone down. So it was a funny surprise when the lights came up and a ton more Peace Corps had also been in the theatre the whole time. Attendees of tonight’s movie included: Me, Blakey, Paul, Jordan, Supy, Cale, Sara, Chris, AJ, Dan, Erin, Jim, Ben, Aaron, and Max. Yeah. Just the 15 of us. I hear this is a slightly common occurrence, which isn’t that surprising. The cost of admission is relatively cheap ($6 WST), they don’t change the movies too often, and they’re almost all American movies… So a bunch of Americans showing up to finally get to see something new isn’t that surprising.
It was a fun night.
My staff meeting this morning was excruciating, in the sense that it went on for 6 hours, but fun, in the sense that everyone knows my name and I was able to contribute.
Props to Luisa's friend, Gary, who got a call this morning and starts a new job at the White House on Monday. Congratulations, Gary, you've renewed my sense that there is justice in the world as well as my own feelings of inferiority. Respect.
Tonight I am heading back to the host village for no other reason than to visit and hang out. I’m coming back pretty early on Saturday morning, so it’s not much of a trip.
I hope things are well at home, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Pictures below.
The lobby of at Magik Cinema.
This picture is on the wall in the men's bathroom. Yes, it is a color print out on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Yes, it is a movie poster for "Bloodsport," the 1988 cinematic masterpiece staring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Gobs of Peace Corps on the street in front of Magik Cinema after the movie.
Supy and Blakey and pre-grilled cheese sandwiches.
Jordan. He says his family let's him know very soon after I post any pictures of him. So I suppose we'll test the response time.
2 days ago