The First Time

A "first" should be printed in one's memory forever. And usually, it is. But not in my memory. No way. Unfortunately so.

It's some kind of an infirmity, I guess, but that's the way it is: I just cannot remember the first time I smoked, kissed, got slapped, drove a car or wore a pair of long pants...

And that is why, in spite of my best efforts, I am absolutely incapable of remembering the first time I went to see a film—however often asked the question.

Granted, it happened a long time ago. When I was not quite sure I'd even like movies, let alone feel like making any at some later point. What I know for a fact is that the event took place in the city of Tours (Loire Valley), simply because that's where I used to live then with my family. Which year? The early sixties...a bit earlier, possibly...or maybe just later. It must have been at the Cameo, or at the ABC. On second thought, I believe the venue was the Lux. Or the Palace. Anyway, the chairs were blue, and the hall was kind of terraced.

But the deep reason this silver screen amnesia is somehow related to my perennial sweet tooth: at the time, I was already a greedy one, but not yet a film-buff. And far more focused on ice-creams than on film credits.

What's really interesting about dealing with an ice-cream is to try and make the pleasure of it last as long as possible. A rather futile exercise indeed, since gluttony is led by impatience.


And also because a choc-ice is a melting device by essence, and that you'd better hurry up with it if you want to avoid the awful dripping.

Whatever the duration of the tasting might have been, I never started to concentrate on the movie before the ice-cream was done with, leaving me all alone with the useless bare wooden stick in hands—not quite useless though, it still was vaguely reminiscent of the pleasure I had just experienced. At that point, the film was well on its way, and long gone the credits...

And that is why I cannot remember a single director of these days, or a single actor, not even a title. And this is also why I could still answer any question you might want to ask me about ice-cream flavours.

Frankly, I do resent my then gluttony for having significantly postponed the interest I later took on films and those who make them.

There is one more thing which emerges from those odd memories: the ice-cream of my youth was absorbed without a sound, while modern popcorn happens to be the noisiest eatable thing in a theatre. And that, in all honesty, cannot be regarded as a positive step for moviegoers...

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