Great movies and atmosphere deliver a huge, friendly picnic
Bryant Park was bustling once again, as a mass picnic of many-a-film-fan pitched its blankets on the park’s large lawn for the first Monday of the summer-long Bryant Park Film Festival.
“I’ve come out every year for the past four years,” said one girl and her friends waiting on line to get in, making it a point to see “one of the original horror films.”
As mentioned in the Ultimate Guide to the Bryant Park Film Festival, the year’s first showing was Alfred Hitchcock’s meticulous, semi-experimental horror, Psycho. We’re sure you’ve heard of it, and we’re sure you’re scared of it.
But aside from pairing with HBO to bring us many classics, from noirs as bleak as Maltese Falcon to fantasies as joyful as Wizard of Oz, the park offers a feeling of leisurely frivolity and a spot to see a flick on a big screen, but not in the confines of a movie theater.
“I like being outside, and although sometimes it’s hard to hear, it’s much more exciting than being in a theater,” said Rian, who was with a group of fellow girlfriends.
The park filled up quick with moviegoers, but that’s just part of the movie-going. At 5 o’clock, when the lawn officially “opens”, if a lawn could open, attendees race from the gates determined to find a prime viewing spot, and spread outward, quickly flurrying the lawn with blankets and bags, almost as if it’s choreographed. Scattered on the blankets are groups of friends, romancing couples, and the straggling solo-artist, all ready to enjoy the grass just as much as the film.
One pair of friends, actually, didn’t even know what movie was playing, but was just out on the grass to grab a seat and catch some fresh air.
But if you prefer a chair to the ground (I wouldn’t be surprised), while BP’s grass is filled to its last blade with cinephiles, the surrounding horseshoe of shops and eateries also plays host to the casual viewer; the less-zealous, hungrier one.
One couple, though, had a definitive reason why they were there.
“She’s leaving for France in a little while,” one fellow said, pointing at his girlfriend, “and we’re trying to spend some time together.”
“You have to get here early,” his girlfriend echoed, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing: “so you’ve got a few hours to just chill before the movie starts.”
Psycho made for an eerie walk home, and a reignited apprehension toward people named Norman, but a great experience and getaway in the center of the city.
Besides, how often is the front row the best row at the movies?
Next week’s filming: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Trackback from your site.