Behold my 1000-plus words way of asking you this simple question: how many times have you seen The Dark Knight?
Here's a little story I probably tell too often (it's even in my "Meet the Team" bio): Long ago, at an art school that should remain nameless (I hated the place too much to give it any kind of credit), I studied film production, with the crazy notion that I would be the one to bridge the gap between Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino (this was in the mid-90s, when all film students just wanted to be the latter). And while I wasn't any good at being the kind of leader necessary to be a great director, I thought I was on track to (at the very least) become an Oscar-winning screenwriter.
Then, in the middle of my freshman year, I went to see 12 Monkeys. And when it was over, I stayed in the theater and I watched it again. I believe this to be the moment when I decided that I no longer wanted to be a filmmaker and wanted to be a film watcher. But it would take me another year of school -- during which I changed the names in my dream from Spielberg and Tarantino to Gilliam and Hartley -- to realize that I could be a ... professional movie theater employee!
Years more would go by before I actually realized that I was better off writing about the movies than attempting to write for the movies, and fortunately all that time managing multiplexes gave me an extra niche to write about, as well. This week's column, however, despite its long-winded introduction, is not about how I came to write "The Exhibitionist." It's actually more specifically about that repeat screening of 12 Monkeys 12 years ago. Because thanks to The Dark Knight's box office success reportedly linked in part to repeat business, I've been thinking about the few movies that I've actually seen in the theater more than once.