blackbirdonline journalSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1

from Our Secret Life in the Movies

spacer After Jens Lien’s The Bothersome Man
   My Friend Who Climbed into a Sentence

After Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist
   Different Fires
   For Us

After The Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic
   Thrown Rod, Cruel Stars
   Sheets of Galaxies


We wrote Our Secret Life in the Movies in San Francisco, in a shared sublet a block away from the Mission Dolores, the site of Carlotta Valdes’s grave in Hitchcock’s Vertigo. We’d hatched a plan to watch every film in The Criterion Collection’s sweeping catalog of world cinema classics over the course of a single year, an obsession that fed off pizza boxes, sambuca fumes, and whatever is damaged on the Y chromosome.

We watched film after film—as many as two or three a day—and wrote stories inspired by them. After completing a dozen sketches, it became obvious that we were writing a fragmented book of linked snapshots chronicling our parallel trajectories as the last children of the Cold War and the analog era, coming of age in the 1980s amidst the white noise of intercontinental-ballistic mayhem and Reaganomics.

Nearly all of us have a secret life in the movies, in which the pictures seep through our dreams until fantasy and reality become hopelessly blurred. We are in the movies, and the movies are in us.

return to top