For a while it looked like we were over the worst. Well, when I say “we”… Let’s put it like this: in many places, numbers were going down, cinemas were opening up, people were wondering if we were returning to something akin to normalcy. I mean, I’ve been back to the Best Little Cinema in the World often since it opened its doors again in May. Work colleagues are going abroad on vacation. Isn’t this what normal looks like?
Or is this just what it looks like when people decide, as the finishing line comes into view, that they’ve had enough, and it’s the last bit that sucks the most, so why don’t we skip it?
Obviously it’s more complicated than that. Sure, there’s the dreaded Delta variant, driving up infection numbers, but apparently this isn’t accompanied by higher numbers of hospitalisations and fatalities… yet. Are we basically replaying last summer, when people thought it was almost over and governments did what people wanted rather than what was sensible, resulting in another wave, this one bigger and more detrimental than the previous one?
At least here in Switzerland, the government doesn’t seem to be too worried – which may be a good sign, or a sign that they no longer think the people have the stamina to see this through, or perhaps they simply want to be re-elected and are trying to please the crowds and to hell with being sensible. Who knows?
Part of me has been half-thinking that once the blockbusters that just need to be watched on a big screen with a live crowd come to cinemas, this will be more or less over. Once we can finally go and see No Time to Die and Dune, the spell will be broken. I still kinda, sorta think it’ll happen, but I’m less confident than I have been, and I’m not sure it’s what should happen. Yes, a new Bond sounds like fun, and Villeneuve’s Dune looks pretty amazing and is probably at the top of the list of films our cultural baristas have been waiting for (mostly)… but I don’t want a rerun of autumn and winter 2020. Sequels with diminishing returns aren’t just something to avoid at the cinema.