A few weeks ago I was attending the San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Castro Theater. In between Buster Keaton's Our Hospitality in the morning and Murnau's Sunrise at night, I wanted to catch Doubt again at a theater almost 2 miles away and then get some lunch. Time was running short and I hate to enter a theater late, so I caught a cab for the short ride.
Cabbie asks me where I'm headed, I tell him and we start talking about movies. This guy has seen everything and has an opinion about all of it. He liked Doubt but didn't think Meryl Streep deserved an Oscar nomination and expected more out of the movie. Sigh . . . We also talked about Taken and The International, Synecdoche, New York, many of the Oscar noms, and some of the recent animated movies, which he says are the only ones that his girlfriend will go to.
While some of the details escape me, what I remember was a discussion with a guy who loves movies (and hates when they suck) that was thoughtful, opinionated, interesting, and based on many years of experience. In short, everything missing from a conversation with Ben Lyons that we see on TV.
Thanks for a cool ride, nameless cabbie. And congrats--you are better than Ben Lyons. Way better.