Coffee & Films

June 10, 2011

Ok. I’m shooting for honesty here, for better or worse. There are two things that I do that really irk my nerves. Ready? One is drinking coffee and the other is calling movies ‘films.’ And I don’t think I’m going to stop doing either anytime soon. Now, this might sound like self-conscious, hypocritical banality, and frankly, it is, but I’ll tell you why I piss myself off.

I can’t pinpoint the exact day I started drinking coffee, but I’m pretty sure it was a Saturday. More than likely I was hungover as a bum in summer heat and stuffing my face with eggs at a greasy diner. One of my friends probably encouraged me to get a cup of coffee to cure my hangover and I was probably so desperate that I did. And it probably fucking worked. Now coffee has become a part of my morning routine like forgetting to put on deodorant.

Every morning I get to work and my brain feels like chunky peanut butter so I slam one of those miracle packets of coffee juice into the Flavia machine, and BAM, I get a cup of watery brown liquid that looks like tobacco spit. But fuck if I can’t get some work done for the next few hours.  I used to pride myself on being the kind of person that didn’t need coffee to get through the day. In fact, I used to equate coffee drinkers with cigarette smokers, those stimulant-addicted jackasses. Well, if cigs work like coffee does, I might be copping a package of American Spirits or whatever the kids try to roll on their own these days. [By the way, I love watching people try to roll their own cigarettes. They always try to make it look like they’re cool and in control, but inevitably, it ends up looking like hay in a sleeping bag.]

Now, I can pinpoint more closely the period during which I started to call movies ‘films.’ It was around the time I got my first job out of college and began doing press for a number of independent movies. We’d often work closely with the director, producer, etc., who would never cease to refer to their work as ‘the film.’ I thought it odd, and somewhat pretentious, that they referred to the work by the name of the very substance on which it was printed. It was as if the art and the platform were one (that’s some real shit). But I winced whenever I said it because a) film is an almost condescending word to say (the corners of your mouth turn down and you tend to raise your chin…maybe that’s just me) and b) because it sounds like one of those rich, douchey words like yacht or cufflinks. But it’s impossible not to acknowledge the fact that Transformers: Dark Moon is a flaming turd, I mean movie, and that400 Blows is a film. And you know what? I want people to know that I know the difference. So fuck off.

All of this is to say that last Saturday night, when I sat and watched a midnight screening of Taxi Driver at IFC Center while drinking a black coffee, I poked myself in the eye. Then I took another sip and watched DeNiro act his ass off.