Private Fears in Public Places
  • Private Fears in Public Places

Revisiting Alain Resnais’s You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet at the Music Box last week reminded me of seeing the director’s Private Fears in Public Places at that theater six summers ago. At the time, I was either unemployed or working part-time—I don’t remember which, but I was in a position to go to the movies on weekday afternoons, and I did this often to save money. The small audiences often consisted of retirees, specifically old women who went in pairs and chatted through the films. I liked sharing the theater with them; they made the auditorium feel fuller than it was, and they made me think of my paternal grandmother, a lifelong moviegoer who, in her last days of spectatorship, would convince reclusive old women in her apartment building to accompany her to the show. She claimed to do this out of a spirit of charity, not any displeasure in going alone, and who am I to say otherwise?