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7 AreMoviesJunk 7 • Are Movies Junk John Fles* T o escape reality we go to the Movies. The better the Movie the more complete the escape. Until sometimes we wonder which is more real. Under LSD both realities are equal. Other times we know the sordidness and pain of this life must be replaced. We dream all our senses will be absorbed in the Ultimate Movie. Only then, in reflection, does any idea of Heaven come to us. From the square hole of the projection booth beams a glimmer of the Post-Atomic Age. Mumblings about montage and acting remain profane. The critics of a Vision are always puerile. To watch men move, even without speaking, is enough. We know then, transfixed by a ray of sunlight on a Sunday morning on 42nd Street after six days and seven nights of continuous viewing, that we can not end this meaningless existence. Even after the Final Bomb falls, our souls, bathed in light, endure. The Galaxies themselves are distant Movies. The screen exploits Social Reform as it would any other legend. Love’s message also is conveyed in its utter two-dimensionality. And the pure darkness of the Universe fades leaving stark Light and Shadow, twins of a sane mind. We succumb reluctantly to the question posed as it were on the brink of the Abyss: Who is the audience? 45 * First published in Film Culture 29 (Summer 1963): 9. This page intentionally left blank ...


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