A friend of mine once pointed out how vulnerable people seem to be when watching movies in an airplane. Big beefy guys tearing up during romantic comedies. Giddy laughter at suspect jokes. Something about sitting 35,000 feet above the earth, my friend suspects, changes how you see things.
So maybe it's not quite as dramatic to sit in a theater on the other side of the state, or then wander unfamiliar streets afterward, but something about that also makes you consider films differently. Far from home and stripped of the daily distractions of life's routines, you connect more directly to what is being said and shown. You incorporate more - if even only for a few moments - the film's ideas into your own.
That's what I found, anyway, on a recent roadtrip through western New England in search of independent cinemas. You can learn about the adventures of this one-person rolling film festival and the theaters where it played out this weekend in The Boston Globe and online at boston.com's travel site.
But you won't read about what happened on a dark and cold Thursday evening after I sat through a late-afternoon showing of "No Country for Old Men." The film features plenty of violence. Afterward, alone in streets and shops, I had the unsettling sensation of how committing a murder might feel. I wrote in vivid detail about that moment in an early draft of the cinema story. That scene, understandably, ended up on the editing room floor.