End Credits Bring Wild Abandon & Inventiveness
See the claim on the right sidebar that I try to post every week? I’ve had lots of guilt over that. I blame packing as well as washing my face more often than usual because I’m stressed about signing for our first house.
While packing, I rediscover books we have because I have to pick up each of them in order to put them in a box. (I do the same thing while unpacking, come to think of it) In one particular book, I found indignation in a word someone has invented:
“credidiots–People who linger during the credits on a movie, as if they are going to recognize someone (‘Look! Ed Kremetski was the key grip’).”
In the rare event that I went to movies with all my siblings and my parents, we often stayed for the end credits. It was a chance for us to burn off pent-up energy from sitting still for so long, and, I suspect, a chance for my parents to discuss the movie without interruptions.
We relished moving around in front of all the seats in the dark. We could prance or run or skip down the empty aisles. Sometimes I felt like a movie star or a model because I was walking down a slanted, lit runway. We could jump to try to catch the reflected words on our faces, or we could stick our heads and hands behind the movie screen and the wall.
We could be as wild or as random as we liked; we were still technically movie theater patrons until the entire movie ended. Sometimes we danced to the credit music or shouted out names we saw scrolling toward our heads. I’ve made up songs and impromptu nonsense stories with those names. Sometimes we tried to get the movie operator’s attention, and only then did our parents shush us.
Do you know what happens in a movie theater when the credits end? Do you ever stay that long? I have, for the tradition only stuck with a certain set of siblings; the lights come up and the employees come in the clean up the mess their customers have left behind. Only then do we feel obligated to leave.
I remember those movies in my childhood, and I also remember the most recent movie I went to with my immediate family. I went with the youngest in my family, and they stood up as soon as the end credits started rolling. I was dumbfounded; the reason I saw this particular movie was to enjoy the flinging of arms and using of strangers’ names at the very end. But even my parents gave me a strange look when I sat in my seat in the dark and protested their leaving so early.
There’s something intimate in sitting in an empty, dark theater, discussing the movie we had just seen in that very room. The same feeling occurs when having a thoughtful conversation in the front seats of a car that is hurdling through the dark.
Maybe it’s the lighting–the white letters and the white headlights against the dark. The simplicity of a familiar voice, listening intently to your voice. While walking out with my youngest brother and sister, I felt cheated of an opportunity to dance.