Cinemapolis is a movie theater located in downtown Ithaca. It screens independent, foreign, and locally-produced films. The theater is owned and operated by The 7th Art Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to “the power of film to entertain, educate and to celebrate the human experience” (www.cinemapolis.org). One of the reasons Cinemapolis is special is because it makes the effort to engage with the community, offering a scope of entertaining activities including educational initiatives, film festivals such as the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival and Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival, and film premiers with local filmmakers. The quaint atmosphere of this 5-screen movie house – not to mention the specialty snacks sold there, my favorite is the balsamic-dressed popcorn – makes it a treat to visit. Like most movie theaters, it offers discounted prices to members, seniors, students and children.
Recently I saw The Lobster, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The Lobster is described on Cinemapolis’ website as follows, “In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.”
This movie, in regards to its genre, was the fullest, most equally-weighted mix between a horror, comedy, and romance that I have seen. Dark-humored and gruesome, touching and at times subtle, The Lobster is a film that feels oddly realistic despite its absurdity. The Lobster is a beautifully shot film with acting that succeeds in matching its tone. The premise of the film is born from the idea that modern love has become strangely formulaic and disingenuous. Over the course of the two hour film experience, however, something more genuine does seem to emerge. The quote that particularly stood out to me is: “It’s hard to pretend to love someone when you don’t, but it’s harder to pretend that you don’t when you really do.” I think the underlying message of the film ultimately becomes that, in the end, love is blinding (but it is better than being short-sighted). If this doesn’t make sense, watch the movie to see!