by Devin LeCroy
When the room darkens and the curtains around the screen take a step back from the center, you can feel the sound bubbling up behind the rows of seats, and when the moment is right, it glides forward, almost diving into the screen, and fills the room with the atmosphere one must immerse themselves in for the duration of the film. You've been to a movie before, right? Or maybe this is your first time. All that matters is the moment in the dark of the theater that you are now experiencing. After the initial quaking entrance, the low hums that pan across the room, seemingly kneeling down to disappear, are joined by a series of airy piano chords. There is some dialogue and you are now looking into the eyes of a character you have yet to grasp. Something has happened and now a thick string ensemble joins the piano and low synthesizer rumbles as a title and subsequent credits dance along the foreground. There is a very mystical feeling about the sounds now, a sense of excitement and wonder may be gathered. The sun is setting now and every instrument finds itself droning on the same note, holding this last breath of a beautiful day spent between two beautiful people, until the sun vanishes from sight and the flames billow out from the grass. A cacophonous rage of atonal brass and jagged strings tears apart the couple's moment of tranquility and engulfs the dark field in a hellish parade. Your heart is racing and you've become uneasy at the sight and sound of such a monstrosity.
All hope in this world has been lost. At the moment, all there seems to be is the solemn rhythmic pounding of some deep bass drum off in the void. You know that the sound is coming from an inconceivable distance from yourself, but it somehow encapsulates your ears' periphery. Eyes set on the buildings and monuments that have toppled over in some catastrophic explosion. Perhaps a demon bomb of some kind? Without any warning, the ground has split open to let free a tall, dark presence that is now scoping out the land before it. Now you are looking into the eyes of a character that you could never grasp, and the discordant choir and indistinguishable round of low, droning instruments seem to drip from the creature's eyes like the tears you could feel in your own. Everyone here in attendance meditates on the heaviness of the moment. Coming face to face, cry to ear with something they cannot understand, giving each other the chills just by sitting next to one another. The beast closes its eyes and all there is, again, is the throbbing pulse of the bass drum from unknown origin. The Staggering Darkness reflects the light of another in its black marble eyelids, cast from the eyes of someone just waking up on the tattered earth. The same piano chords from the gentle beginning creep back into the scene and start to re-sculpt the landscape to its previous incarnation. The monster, standing alone in a field, falls to one knee as all the life returning to the area hums a singular tone, and it melts and is absorbed into the soil.
The credits roll and peace has returned to the room and minds of those just now occupying it. Almost a fanfare erupting as the plumes of word columns float upward with the wind. It's over now. You got what you paid for. After all that, you could never quite explain what you had seen, but the songs of the evening stay with you until you die, always by your side. There to remind you of one of life's great stories.