In-Flight Movies

I don’t remember when I was last in a movie theatre. Three years anyway. That shadowy past we refer to as pre-pandemic.

There was no theatre when we lived in Sulzburg. There was one in Mullheim, about 10 km away, but it, I think, only showed films in German. To anything in English you had to go to Freiburg, about 45 minutes away on public transport. 

So I didn’t go to the movies. It never seemed worth the effort to seek out English-language films. Nor did I mind – I’m not big movie-goer.

I haven’t been to the theatre across the street from my house in Ottawa since we got home a year ago. Mind you, it has been closed a good chunk of that time due to pandemic restrictions. Every so often I check to see what is playing, but usually nothing appeals to me.

For the past few years I’ve caught up on my film viewing during international flights. During the pandemic those have been few and far between. So I was excited this past month to have three long hauls when I could watch a couple of films. 

To prepare myself I went through the films on offer on my first flight, Ottawa to Montreal. That trip is only 19 minutes; it takes longer to get the passengers in their seats than it does to fly them to their destination.

But 19 minutes was just long enough to cycle through the New Releases section of Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment menu. I was able to decide on my first couple of films to watch on the flight from Montreal to Cairo. 

It was a tough call. Should I watch films where I might learn something, a documentary or an art-house release, or go for escapism? Big name actors, or gripping storytelling? Hollywood blockbusters or independents?

I eliminated a few films because they were kids’ flicks or seemed just too silly. One I really want to see, Dune, I passed on because everyone says it needs to be experienced on a big screen. Maybe I’ll watch it at home on a streaming service, but definitely not on a 12 inch airline screen with airplane drone as the soundtrack. 

So for the next few days we’re going to take a trip to Hollywood. My reviews of the films I got to see while strapped into an uncomfortable seat, wearing a mask. If the thoughts seem a little incoherent, it might be because I was watching and writing in the middle of the night. Not a time when I am at my best.

I don’t know how much a movie ticket is these days. Last time I paid $12 I think, so perhaps the price has gone up to $15 since then. (I did try to look it up, but for some reason the theatre’s website wasn’t loading.)

Still, that’s cheaper than what I paid to see films last month. My plane tickets were considerably more than $12. Mind you, the airline films come with food. At the theatre you have to pay for anything you eat. 

So you could say, I don’t fly for the movies, I fly for the food. Is that reasonable? Or is it a sign of the lack of excitement in my life?

I do intend in the not to distant future to once again go see a movie in a theatre. Probably not to see the film in itself, but as part of an outing with friends. Does that make sense?


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