WHEN: 11:27am EST, July 1st, 2012

WHERE: Bill’s apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar)

FORMAT:  Digital Download on my iPhone3

COMPANY: Bill, Matt, occasionally Phil, infrequently Becca (none actually watching with me)

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Feeling pretty good. Had just gotten up.  Enjoyed a couple of mimosas during the movie.

WATCHING HIGH FIDELITY BY STEALTH:
Several months ago, Bill and I were talking about how, using my iPhone, I might be able to watch High Fidelity while several other people were watching another movie. Perhaps even without their knowledge. Bill invited me over to watch Top Gun with Matt (the guy who made our awesome posters) and Phil (a guy who didn’t make our awesome posters). This would have been my third time watching Top Gun this year, and twice was two times too many already. However, I accepted his invitation (which included the promise of mimosas) with the goal of perpetrating the aforementioned ruse. Much as the cuckoo places its own eggs into its rival’s nest, I would (mimosa in hand) watch High Fidelity, while Bill and company thought I was enjoying Top Gun with them.

Upon the arrival of all involved parties, I helped film a video for Bill’s entry, and Matt made some delicious mimosas.  I, under the pretense of selflessly taking the least comfortable chair, established myself in a corner of the room, where my secret viewing would be least detectable.  About 15 seconds before Bill started Top Gun, I put an earbud into my far ear and started up the video. I snaked the cord around my back in an attempt to make it less noticeable. In order to keep my screen hidden, I crossed my legs, and tried to make sure that one of them was blocking my phone from view of the others at all times. About a minute in, I realized that I could not properly hear High Fidelity over Top Gun and the resulting conversation with only one earbud in, so hesitantly I put the other earbud in, and crossed my proverbial fingers. This would be my undoing. (The earbud, not the proverbial finger-crossing.)

DISCOVERY:
Several times, Phil got up and walked past me. Bill did the same once. Had Bill seen, and stayed silent just to see if the others would notice? Only time would tell. Phil started using a laptop directly behind me, from which vantage point I knew that the cord to my earbuds was obviously visible. I sat there, sweating. In my defense, the room was very hot. But it was not Phil who discovered me. At eleven minutes and forty seconds into the movie, Bill noticed my right earbud. “I see what you’re doing, you asshole!” Bill declared.

CONTINUED VIEWING:
Well, I had been caught. And only about 10% of the way into the movie too. But I’d be damned if I had watched those eleven minutes for nothing.  So, I proceeded with my viewing.

At times the soundtrack to Top Gun overpowered the music of High Fidelity.  Even this, however, did not make Rob’s actions seem intense or extreme in any way. At one point, Rob picks up the phone to talk to a customer.  He says, “Championship Vinyl,” at which point I heard from Top Gun, “I want some butts!” To which request, Rob appeared to respond, “Yeah, yeah, I’m interested, sure.”  From this point on, I shall probably think of Rob as a secret purveyor of butts.  Also, I know where Air Boss Johnson goes for his supply.

Butts? In the back, next to the Blues.

Since Tim Robbins is in both movies, I was hoping there would be a point where he was simultaneously on the screen in both films.  Alas, this was not the case, and we had no “Double Tim Robbins” to celebrate.

I watch a lot of movies, but I don’t have a cinematographer’s eye.

Unless you count Gregg Toland’s…

So seeing High Fidelity next to a screen with another movie playing on it got me thinking, for the first time, about the way the movie was filmed (from a “where do I put that camera” point of view). When people are talking to each other, they are framed very similarly in both films. The camera doesn’t move much in High Fidelity. There ain’t no jets in the shots. Seriously, though, my cinematographic knowledge is severely lacking.

So, in the end, I failed to watch High Fidelity in a room of people without anyone catching me, but I did get my viewing for the week out of the way on a Sunday, and I had some delicious mimosas.  And isn’t that what really counts?