Last night I went to the wrong film. A lapse of concentration at the ticket office meant that I saw a film call Won’t You Be My Neighbour instead of Three Identical Strangers. Kind of linked in broad idea, I guess, (if I am being kind to myself). Both documentaries, so at least the same genre. It’s not as if I set of to see PS I love you and ended up in Mad Max Fury Road.
I realised the mistake about ten minutes in. I felt disappointment and a slightly fidgety sense that I could perhaps sneak out of this and into the right film. I beat myself up (gently) over the mistake, and lost concentration on the film that was actually playing.
The film was about a children’s TV presenter, someone the rest of the audience was clearly familiar with, Mr (Fred) Rogers. But this is America and I am English and we didn’t have the same programmes. Mr Rogers turned out to be an impressive, slow voiced, smiling, gentle man with an innate ability to communicate with children. This was in the 60s and 70s when children’s TV was becoming something separate and in his view, distant from what children actually wanted and would enjoy. He took it upon himself to deal with complicated and serious issues, like loss, death, divorce, feelings of loneliness and difference, he addressed and countered race, bigotry, divorce, and sexual orientation – not so common 50 years ago.
After twenty minutes I was hooked into this story, glad I’d made a mistake. I’d have never gone to this film by choice but I was learning a lot.
The moral? There isn’t one. There’s no meaning in this post (see my earlier blog on how I’m giving meaning up). Even though I’m sure that if I’d had the chance to move in the first ten minutes I would, and even though I’m glad now, after the event that I didn’t, and I can rejoice that serendipity did its thing, I can’t learn a lesson. Why? Because even if I had moved, watching the other film would have been a grand way to spend an evening too.