5th Avenue Cinema Presents Twilight Return


Unless you’ve slept through most of the early 2000s, you probably remember the dusk series. Perhaps you remember it as the only subject to occupy the high school hallway vineyard, or as a series of increasingly melodramatic scenes played out on the playground as some people play Shakespeare in the park. Perhaps it has made its way into your family home, with a parent or sibling timidly burying their faces in one of the dense pages of the tetralogy. There is even a good chance that you will read it yourself, thus becoming one of the 12% of American adults to read it.

As was inevitable at the time, they made a movie of it. Starring a starry cast with pale makeup that included Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the 2008 adaptation picked up on the book’s already growing popularity and cemented the franchise into a cultural phenomenon. People loved him, people hated him, but everyone seemed to be talking about it. The vampire teen bubble grew on the waves of the franchise’s success, as each of the novels was adapted to film format, for a combined global gross of over $ 2.5 billion.

Eventually the bubble burst and people moved on. Fast forward to now, 13 years after the release of the first film, and dusk returned in a bad mood to our local collective consciousness through the 5th Avenue Cinema, which screened the film the second weekend in October. For PSU-based student theater, which normally shows obscure independent films, the dusk the screening deviates a bit from its usual content, and the fact that it has entered the lineup is somewhat of a fortuitous accident.

When a distribution issue reduced a film’s availability in the fall lineup, 5th Avenue staff found themselves with a gaping hole in the schedule to fill. In a discussion with distributors to acquire dusk for another theater venue specializing in blockbuster reruns, they made a surprising discovery—Dusk, at least that’s what the distributors claimed, was available in 35mm format for distribution.

“[The distributors] ended up saying ‘oh we got it on 35’ so we just decided to make it part of the main program and fill that niche, ”said Nayeli Naranjo-Robles, who helps oversee the programming. theater. For 5th Avenue staff, the key detail of the availability of the 35mm for dusk qualified to slip into programming alongside films like Mala Noche and The piano teacher.

Unfortunately, due to other distribution issues and communication issues during shipping, the precious Edward and Bella printed film boxes did not make it to the theaters on time.

“We were waiting and waiting for it to come in the mail, and then yesterday morning an email came in and they were like ‘well, actually we don’t have it,'” Naranjo-Robles said. “So… we’re showing it digitally. ”

Incidents like these, while unfortunate, highlight the often overlooked obstacles facing small independent cinemas. “We are at the whims of the distributors,” Naranjo-Robles concluded.

“That’s the way it is… but the screening, for me, is the most important thing, that people can see it for free,” added Owen Peterson, another event programmer.

Format 35 millimeters or not, dusk still packs a punch in the cultural nostalgia department. For some event programming technicians (and a large part of the public), dusk recalls visceral memories of the early 2000s dusk fever, which swept through American colleges and high schools thirteen years ago.

“I remember people in my class would like to recreate the scenes on the playing field, and it was like this huge deal for months, ”Peterson said.

“It’s a weird experience watching them,” said projectionist Catie Godula. “They take themselves so seriously it becomes like this weird pseudo-comedy.”

Godula’s experience of the film seemed to be shared by the theater audience, which provided a real laugh trail for the screening of the night. Popcorn and ginger beer in hand, the student crowd chuckled as Edward Cullen lustfully watched teenage heroine Bella Swan across the biology office, and they practically roared when Edward covered in White makeup delivered a soliloquy of Shakespearean proportions while comically swinging from a tree.

Besides the cheap laughs, people clearly enjoyed being back in the theater space after pandemic closures made it impossible to shoot traditional films. All over the room, they enthusiastically crumpled their bags of popcorn and opened the candy wrappers with special enthusiasm, and the film’s absurd dialogue and convoluted plot points made theatergoers laugh. the ears of their neighbors.

At the end of the night, as Bella Swan danced on Edward Cullen’s undead feet, Peterson’s recommendation ringed true: “Just enter with an open mind,” he said earlier that night. , “And you’ll probably have a good time. … That’s pretty hilarious.


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