I was a goner. A massive out-of-control boulder was headed straight for me.
The only things standing between me and oblivion were cobwebs and Indiana Jones.
I survived. But the experience blew my teenage mind ... forever. After that, I was a different person. My head was full of highfalutin notions of becoming a whip-carrying, gun-toting archaeologist. Such is the power of cinema.
I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Tower Cinemas. For many people, there is that one scene in that one movie that really turns them on to the full-on, in-your-face, big-colour, big-sound cinematic experience.
Harrison Ford and the boulder got the ball rolling for me. I also loved the earlier Star Wars (Harrison as Han) and Sound of Music (boo! Nazis again), but Raiders was an epiphany.
Indy was the movie hero who had it all: looks, brains, courage, humour and a deep dislike of Nazis and snakes. Heaps more interesting than Year 7 boys.
Speaking of boys, the Tower was also the venue for a few awkward dates where I spent most of the movie praying there was not going to be a nudie-rudie love scene. Oh, the humanity.
The cinema creates magic. It also polarises people. Pre-social media, verbally airing your opinion about movies (and music) was the quickest way to get into a blue.
I still get cranky when I think of the hours I lost seeing that first Lord of the Rings movie.
Bizarrely, I almost got into fisticuffs with a friend’s husband who strongly disagreed with my view that Lord, Please Kill Me Now could have easily been edited to under an hour.
Then there was the Unbearable Lightness of Being, where I excitedly stood up on four occasions thinking it had finished, only to slump back in my seat when the next scene started. Unbearable indeed.
I agree also with Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes’ critique of An English Patient when she yells at the cinema screen: “Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert and just die already. Die!”
Movies stir powerful emotions. Not all of them good. But at least they stir something.
Long live the cinema.