Dehydrated

We just watched Batman: The Movie. More accurately, we just watched half of Batman: The Movie, then I watched the rest of it. The comedic value couldn’t keep my wife awake. I remember before Batman 1989 came out on VHS, for the handful of months in between it playing first run theaters and hitting the Phar-Mor shelves, I remember renting Batman: The Movie. It might have been the last time I saw it until tonight. Twenty-seven years. Because I outgrew the Batman TV show at the age appropriate time, even if it did leave lasting damage—when I have to go somewhere and I’m on foot and by myself, I run, something I realize I get from the silly running around Batman and Robin did on the show. But it did leave a real impression. It is something of a madeleine moment, shooting me right back to 1983 or 1984, sitting too close to the TV, pressing my knee—it was the early eighties, I was wearing shorts at some point watching that show—pressing my knee hard into the family room floor. Back when it was still called the play room. The floor has a texture pattern and I would be dumbfoundingly watching two grown men run around in silly costumes for absolutely no artistic point or even the pretense of one and I would have a transfer of the pattern against my knee if I tried hard enough. It’s hard for media to be a madeleine moment for me; I watched movies over and over. It overwrites the context. But coming across the things I haven’t seen in almost thirty years, it brings back more. And it’s shots. It’s not even scenes. It’s like the slides at the end of every “MAS*H.” It’s like my nostalgia is completely disconnected from the actual content, just engaged with my memories of experiencing it at a certain time and situation. It’s a terrible movie. Especially since I’ve just seen another TV production values but theatrical release from the same era and can’t help compare them. But it was definitely an interesting experience for the memories it calls up.

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