The first time I watched my favourite film I was around eight-years-old. It was a curious age considering that my favourite film is Harold and Maude, a love story between a 17 year-old guy and an 80 year-old lady. My then still pure mind found that story the most beautiful thing in the world and since that day I’ve been watching it at least once a month. What my eight-year-old self didn’t realise back then was that Harold and Maude was released in the 70’s, which means – in Brazil, at least – I would probably never get to see it on the big screen.
I moved to London earlier this year, something I’ve been dreaming of for ages. As soon as I stepped in the city, a good friend of mine gave me a membership at the Prince Charles Cinema, an intimate place for cinephiles in the heart of London. It was love at first sight. They were having a Linklater retrospective, hosting super cool events like sing-alongs and screening Kubrick, Almodóvar and PTA. It felt like home.
It wasn’t long ‘till I decided to email them and see if they could possibly screen Harold and Maude (which I thought was a long shot). My heartfelt email was answered on the same day:
I’m pleased to let you know that we have confirmed a screening of Harold and Maude for 15th of April (we’d sent the request 2 days before your email, perfectly-timed request).
Hope you have a lovely day.
Well, it was a lovely day indeed. I would finally watch my favourite film on the big screen in the city I love the most in this world, on the coolest little venue I had ever been to.
The grand day came two weeks ago. It was an odd one. My bus was diverted, I broke my shoe while rushing to the cinema and my advanced ticket (of course I bought it a month before!) wrongly indicated that the film would be on a different room which almost made me watch Blade Runner instead. All problems solved, I was seated right before Bud Cort’s feet entered the screen.
Cat Stevens was playing, Ruth Gordon was talking and people were laughing. Suddenly, I caught myself thinking ‘this is a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life’. Damn it, PCC, you’re making me emotional.
As the film moved towards the end, I felt a sort of completeness I had never experienced before. Despite having watched Harold and Maude more than a hundred times, I noticed new tiny little details. I felt the audience responding to the same things I responded to so many times since and this film – that I learnt how to love as a young kid – felt even more beautiful in that dark room.