As we count down the hours to the start of our 40 Years, 40 Movies marathon, perhaps I should revisit the question so many of you must have. Why?
When I was approaching my 30th birthday, Vonna and I talked about how I wanted to celebrate. The idea of renting a movie theater came up, and I quickly gravitated to renting a 35mm print of Raiders of the Lost Ark for a screening. We had a blast - I think we had nearly 100 people in attendance, and we had our names on the marquee (sorry I don't have the pictures handy - but trust me it said "John and Vonna present Raiders of the Lost Ark"). And I got to watch my favorite movie on the big screen for the first time in years surrounded by friends and family.
When Vonna asked what I wanted to do for my 40th birthday, I knew wanted to try and live up to what we did 10 years ago. With The Slaughtered Lamb at our disposal, I knew I had the opportunity to screen a number of films that people might enjoy watching with me on the big screen. A 40-hour marathon was quickly dismissed, and quickly replaced with a month-long, 40-movie series.
And now, a confession. In all my 40 years, there are only two movies I've ever gone to see in theaters (other than the SLC) on my own. In one case, it was a screening of my personal 35mm print of Night of the Living Dead (1990) at a local theater that was scrambling when they failed to get a print of the original for a midnight show. The second was just two years ago, when I decided to brave the elements to catch a midnight premiere of I Am Legend (it was a Thursday night - and waaaaay past Vonna's bedtime).
Other than that, I've only seen movies with friends or family. Because to me, there's something missing if at the end of the show you don't have someone you can turn to to laugh, debate, or trade quotes with. By hosting 40 movie screenings over 30 days, and inviting you all to join me over the course of the month, I'm hoping to have more bonding moments with you over some (but far from all) of my favorite films.
So I am quite sincere when I say that your presence at any screening in January will be truly appreciated.