Published March 27, 2022
If you tell someone you want to be a bricklayer when your true ambitions are as a painter, they’ll recommend you bricks and not brushes.
The first “film friend” I had met/made was a white kid in my Spanish class named Chris. We were freshmen in high school, sat right next to each other, and somehow became friends. Soon enough we got to talking about making a movie. Of the two ideas, I remember “pitching”, one was a “suburb hero” movie. Basically, about a teenager who runs around the suburbs gets in fights, dates a cool girl, and drives a cool car. This idea was a 100% rip-off of the movie “Kick-Ass” that I saw when I was 12.
The other idea was something about a school. I didn’t know what, but I remember thinking that a shot of the hallway’s acoustic ceilings crashing down would be cool.
Chris was down.
He was friends with the computer teacher and asked if we could use the computer room after school to host our “movie club.” Our school had existed for over 90 years when Chris and I were freshmen. It had a lot of clubs. A movie club was not one of them.
So, Chris and I came up with the idea of putting up posters around the school and starting one with the intention of recruiting people to help our superhero-suburb-highschool-acoustic ceiling falling down- idea of a movie. Chris designed the flyers and I remember seeing them taped to the cafeteria pillars and feeling shy, embarrassed, and excited. Our idea was becoming real.
A couple of weeks later and I meet Chris after school in the computer room. The teacher says hi to me, chats it up with Chris, then leaves the room saying they’ll be back at 4:00 to lock up. And Chris writes our names on the board. I felt like an imposter. Like I invited everyone to a party at a house that doesn’t exist.
We had a full room. Some kids I had recognized walking the halls, some were 2 layers of separation-type friends, and the rest were strangers. It was exciting to be there. Too exciting. Too much.
Chris started the “club” by introducing us, then suggesting that everyone goes around the room and they answer what they can do, and what they want to do. One girl answered that she liked to draw, and she was interested in doing makeup. Hers is the only answer I remember. Finally, everyone had answered and Chris asked if I wanted to say anything. I said no.
The club lasted two meetings. Chris and I stopped being friends. That winter, I made the freshman basketball team and the movie club became something I was embarrassed about. A year and a half later, when I was 16 year old sophomore, I read the “Because the Internet” screenplay by Donald Glover. And I felt understood. And for the first time in my life, I wanted to say something.
Pen Sunday Soundtrack:
This is one of two new segments for Pen Sunday; A weekly list of songs that I’ve been listening to that week. Some week it might just be one, others it could be more. This week there are five.
There is no consideration to genre. And here’s a Spotify playlist to go with it.
Cellular — King Krule
It Just Doesn’t Matter — Mac Miller
That’s On Me — Mac Miller
Hoes at Trader Joe’s — Chris Crack
Is It Too Much To Ask — Faye Webster
One Movie To Watch This Week
The Shawshank Redemption
Also, for my medium readers, Substack will now be the best place to get my writing. https://solomonimani.substack.com/