I shook my head. “Please do not do that to me. You know what I think of such films. ”
Gardram the Healer looked up in wonderment. “But this is a movie by this Asimov that you like so much …”
I did not bother to explain to Gardram how little this film had to do with the books that I really liked. Should I tell him that there are no rappers in Asimov’s novels hunting for robots? Would he understand what I find so great about experiencing chapters across the spectrum of scientists sitting in darkened conference rooms debating excessively on the fate of humanity? I did not want to bore Gardram with it. After all, he had saved my life an hour ago.
“I do not like Will Smith,” I said instead.
“We could watch another movie,” Groll tried to convey the dwarf.
A quick glance at the bookshelf sufficed Gardram. “Nah, he’s just full of the old movies.”
Sometimes the participants from the RPG group stayed a bit longer. Sometimes the whole night. With an apartment full of computers, it’s usually not a problem to spend some entertaining hours with younger people. A Will Smith movie that happens to carry the title of a collection of Asimov short stories is definitely not one of them.
Grudges had an idea. “Let’s make a longer movie night out of it. We first watch one of the old movies and then’I Robot’. “I
liked the idea. “You mean, at first I’m allowed to torment you and then I’m on the collar.”
“Yes, um. That’s about it. “
My thoughts were immediately with the science fiction silent films of Fritz Lang, which would undeniably the term “agony” for the boys would have done enough. But basically I could be grateful to the young people that in times of multiplayer computer games, they played those pen & paper scenarios with me, for which I could have inspired my own generation even less. And besides – as noted earlier – Gardram had saved my life an hour ago. So I did not have to bore the two with a silent movie either.
“Ok I agree. But you really look when the movie is on. ”
” Sure. ”
” And no conversations about the levels and armor of your heroes from any online games alongside. ”
” Hey, that’s mean. ”
” So, me must go to the basement now. ”
” Oh, “resented Groll. “It’s going to be a damn old movie.”
“Not so bad,” I said. “But I do not have it on DVD.”
“Oh,” repeated Grudge.
It did not take me long to find the box of old videotapes. Any paint bucket on the basement shelf must have been closed unsatisfactorily as well as skewed. Very unlikely to happen to both with the same bucket, but most videocassettes were still full of white paint. What a loss of film art to all the treasures that I had recorded and collected years ago. But no matter. First of all, all of these films may well have been available on digital media for a long time now, and secondly, I tend anyway to never look at a once medially preserved film a second time. Unless, of course, he happens to be watching TV right now. The cassette I held in my hands seemed to have been at least inexorably spared the color.
“At least take the projector,” said Gardram.
“If you want one-third of the film projected onto the floor and another third onto the ceiling, then you’re welcome.” Previously, the films were not always televised in widescreen format on television. No idea if that was true for this movie, but I certainly had little desire to clear countless neatly sorted by musical eras music CDs from the shelf, only to the old video player (I did not even have a functional full recorder ) in the vicinity of the beamer, to find that no matching cable was present to connect both.
“What kind of movie do we have to watch?” Groll asked.
“Please not one of those old Star Wars movies. They look completely cheap, “added Gardram.
I did not understand fun on this topic. If we had been in the middle of a role-playing game, I would have rolled a hot-tempered test. “Cheap? Those were still real models back then, and no animated special effects like today. There were still scenes in the background, today everything is filled in with just one color. At that time the rules of gravity were still valid and the characters could not jump eight meters high … ”
” Quiet, “Groll tried to finish my speech. “So? What movie? ”
” The time machine. You certainly do not know that yet. ”
” But I know him, “said Gardram. “He’s not that old.”
The remake! – it shot through my head. Why did you have to remake such ingenious movie classics so heartlessly? “Surely you mean the remake, where the Morlocks all look like Michael Jackson, right?
“This is a remake? I did not know that. And the movie where all monkeys look like Michael Jackson, that’s the planet of the monkeys.
“Oh” – and I meant that honestly. Another superfluous remake. “What I hold here in my hands”, the wall paint was already glued to my fingers, “is the right time machine from the year 1960. There plays a woman, in which my grandfather was in love.” I exaggerated by at least one generation.
“Oh, shit,” I could hear in two different pitches.
I sat on the floor for lack of remote control for the old video player and spooled the pilot movie of “Battlestar Galactica” to the end. What were those times when you could save two movies on a disk! Why are innovations just so much worse off than their predecessors? And why is called the fast forward or rewind a DVD still “spool”, although certainly nothing more is spooled?
To the middle of the tape began the desired film. The poor picture quality surprised me and I was inclined to think about whether in those past glories of the videocassette was not noticed or whether the years of storage of the cassette below a basement shelf with dripping paint buckets could not be taken into account. No, I decided, the picture quality was not that bad at the time.
“Man, is that cheap,” said Gardram, as if he wanted to prove his testimony from earlier.
“What should be cheap here?”
“Well, those special effects.”
It was the first scene. And it was already desperate. “There are no special effects at all. These are just ticking clocks. Nothing
else . ” ” Well, watch, “grumbled Groll.
“After all, the second movie has action,” added Gardram.
This could be a great evening. He did too. At least for me, as I did not know at the time.
“The old men look like monkeys with their beards.” Rod Taylor, Alan Young, and the nameless learned gentlemen had taken their seats in the inventor’s living room and were about to witness the diminutive model of the time machine begin its journey into the future.
“Now stop stammering,” Groll conveyed. “That’s what it looked like in Findur’s youth.” – Findur was the name of my elven alter ego in the pen & paper world of role-playing games.
“How old do you think I am?” I asked horrified. “Firstly, the film was shot years before I was born and secondly,” and I said that in a very serious voice, “the film plays New Year’s Eve at the turn of the year 1900. Did not you hear anything at all?”
“Oh, they just talk,” came the answer.
“Who makes coffee?”
“Who is it?”
“I already made a coffee today,” I said. “Plus, there’s the spot where Rod Taylor travels to the future.
“I already made a coffee. And who is Rod Taylor? ”
” The old man in the red chair “Presumably, Rod Taylor was not older than me today in those days, but perhaps I was able to lessen the significant age difference to my guests a bit by commenting.
“I’ve already made a coffee,” said Groll. “We can dice it.”
Of course I lost. “Ok, I’m in the kitchen then. But when the journey into the future begins, you stop the movie. I want to see that. ”
I went into the kitchen and was soon able to hear the usual conversations from the living room:” Are you going to hunt afterwards? “-” What armor do you have now? “.
There were now three teaspoons in the coffee can, but the coffee smelled very good. I just smell the coffee, I can not stand drinking.
When I returned to the living room, Rod Taylor was already watching suspiciously through his window as the mannequin of the fashion store opposite him changed its appearance in time-lapse photography.
“You wanted to stop as soon as he travels to the future,” I protested in a desperate undertone.
“Oh that’s the big trip?” Gardram replied.
“Besides, we do not know how to stop this old box,” Groll added, not at all free of sarcasm.
“Your own fault,” I said. “Then you have to see the scene again”. I sat down on the floor and pressed the rewind button to turn back the time in the movie with the picture activated. I could hear an actual tape spooling down from one spool to another spool. That’s what I call coils!
I raised my eyes to the television picture to see when I would have reached the moment when Rod Taylor’s journey began. But this did not come.
“Are you ready soon?” Gardram asked audibly bored.
I rose to make the phenomenon easier to grasp. But I still did not understand it.
“There’s not much happening,” Groll said.
“Has not happened much before,” added Gardram with a laugh.
I shook my head. “What’s going on?”
“What’s going to happen?” Gardram replied. “The flies into the future and takes animal for a long time.”
“Yes, really,” said Groll. “The scene could have been much shorter. That’s boring. He flies and flies and flies … ”
So I did not remember the movie. And still I heard the video player rewind. Rod Taylor, too, seemed visibly unnerved. Nothing went any further.
“Is this going to go on forever?” Gardram yawned.
“That’s one of your jokes, Findur. Am I right? There’s no movie where nothing happens for so long. ”
” Let me
think about what’s happening here. ” ” Nothing is happening here. ”
” Rod Taylor is trying to travel to the future. ”
” More than a try, that was fine
neither . ” ” At the same time, I’m spooling the movie into the past. ”
” Then stop
bugging . ” I barely noticed the answers from Gardram and Grudge. “What are you saying? No, never stop. ”
” Not then. “
“I think I got it!” I took a few steps back to understand the phenomenon. “By an incredible coincidence, this video device rewinds just as fast as Rod Taylor moves forward in time in the movie.”
“Oh, you’re really starting to spin.”
“I can not roll the movie back to the scene where the journey is starts because Rod Taylor moves forward in time simultaneously. And Rod Taylor can not arrive in the future because I rewind. “
“We’re going home now.”
“What? Okay. ”
” I think when we come back in fourteen days, he’s still hanging out in front of the TV talking about rewinding. ”
” Hey Findur, do not forget. Then you have to watch the I Robot with us. ”
” Yeah, I’m fine. “
At some point I turned off the video player. To calm my nerves and those of Rod Taylor, as I suspected. The guys were probably right. What I experienced was too crazy. Who should I tell about it? And above all, what should I tell? For example: “I can do with my video player that Rod Taylor stops in the movie ‘The Time Machine’?
What would be the answer? “So what? My DVD player also has a pause button “. I would have to keep the experience forever for me.
No matter. It had still been a fun evening. And in fourteen days I would probably have to watch this movie with Will Smith. At least I owed Gardram that. He finally saved my life a few hours ago. Asimov forgive me.