Tim Roth, Chronic, and an Insatiable Thirst for Indie Cinema

I first saw the actor Tim Roth in the Peter Greenaway film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. It was late 1989 or early 1990 and I had recently graduated from college and had moved to Tokyo where I taught English and spent every bit of free time and all of my disposable income on, well, entertaining myself. Next came Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead and my friends and I probably went back to the same independent movie theater we regularly frequented to see it. Tim Roth’s performance was captivating. As a college student in the Boston area, I saw so many great movies at The Brattle Theatre, known for its amazing programming and its talking audiences. Seriously, audiences routinely dialogued with the actors. During the film. And sometimes they just shared their thoughts about the film at random. Out loud. Tokyo audiences weren’t like that. By comparison, Tokyo audiences were totally silent. Before college, thrilled to have my nighttime driver’s license during my senior year of high school here in Auburn, I drove to The Westcott or The Manlius in Syracuse to watch foreign and independent films. And now, after decades of driving here, there and everywhere, taking trains, planes and automobiles to catch a great film, life is so much simpler thanks to Auburn Public Cinema.

When the trailer for Chronic recently came across my screen, Tim Roth was, once again, front and center. (Exactly where, in my humble opinion, he totally belongs.) And this time, he is starring in a film on the subject of caretaking for the terminally ill. The trailer also struck a chord for me, I think, because many years ago I had the honor of caring for my mom when she was terminally ill. All that I experienced during that brief time has yet to fade. And it’s been many, many years now. Funny how that kind of experience works.

Tim Roth was the hook that got me to watch the trailer. The subject of the film is what got me to book it. Watching the film, I hope, is what will move me a few squares ahead in my understanding of, well, everything. Fingers crossed…

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