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Past Event
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 7 p.m.

Jenny died as she lived: smirking. Where do I begin? Love Story!

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 92126

Where do I begin? “Death Story,” as it came to be called, was the film that introduced Hollywood’s concept of a “set-’em up-to-watch-’em-die” picture to my then-15-year-old brain. The script originally called for the movie to open with the doctor bluntly informing Oliver (Ryan O’Neal) that his young bride Jenny (Ali MacGraw) was a goner. Worried that this wouldn’t allow the audience any time to get to know her character, director Arthur Hiller instead started the story at the beginning and trudged ahead chronologically. But in that case, why begin with narrator Oliver seated alone and teasing the audience with, “What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died?” Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of relocating the bad news delivery to two-thirds of the way into the picture? The film also marked the first time I can recall having to issue a firm “Shush!” to a fellow theatre patron. Nancy Reagan despised the film, due to its plethora of profanities. Seated behind me were a pair of chatty, white-gloved Reaganites. Every few minutes found them gasping, “Oh! Did you hear what she said?” After about the fifth interruption, I turned and said, “Bullshit, lady. She said bullshit.” Their mutual “Harumph!” was followed by a quick retreat to the back of the house. Believe it or don’t, this dog was nominated for seven golden doorstops. As interpreted by Oscar-nominee MacGraw, Jenny died as she lived: smirking. One of the original reviewers observed that the closer Jenny inched towards death, the more beautiful she became. Oscar-nominee Hiller’s contribution to the advancement of cinema was attaching a camera to a hockey stick. And his slow, 20-to-1 zoom-in on the exterior of a Harvard house as the badly-dubbed couple are heard joking around about sex is better suited to radio. A copy of the double-LP soundtrack, complete with dialogue from the film, found its way into my hands, and left me asking, What kind of a monster would think of adding a laugh track to these somber proceedings? Sure wish I still had the cassette tape. See it at your own risk when it screens citywide. — Scott Marks 

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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