In Which The Author Leaves The House in the Company of Friends, Good Food, and Post-Apocalyptic Cannibal Cults.
[The Enzian did not pay me to write this entry, I just love going there and have for years, and wanted to spread the word!]
Last night I scurried forth from my bolthole for a special occasion: Orlando’s own local independent theater The Enzian was showing Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Rejoice!
The Enzian’s been around since 1985. I saw my first film there in 1997, Ma Vie En Rose, so right away you can see it has quite a variety. It’s the kind of place for people who just flat out love movies and good stories, like the Alamo Drafthouse. During the Florida FiIm Festival (yes, Florida has a film festival and it’s not just police dash cam vids of drunk people falling down or setting things on fire) the Enzian becomes a nerve center of activities: they show a lot of films there, and they have discussions with filmmakers and actors. Gabriel Byrne and Helen Mirren have attended, and I believe my former Creative Writing teacher Pat Rushin did an appearance as well.
The Enzian has a sweet bar outside with all kinds of drinks from domestic beers to cocktails containing absinthe, flavored whiskey, and moonshine. Inside, they offer a full menu of oodles of goodies, like sandwiches, tomato cream soup, and/or truffle parmesan fries. They also do free movies on the lawn sometimes, or other film events around town. The bar/patio is shaded by gigantic live oaks and has a fountain, so it’s a nice place to unwind.
Films I’ve seen at the Enzian:
- Ma Vie En Rose
- The Dinner Game (French)
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
- What We Do In The Shadows
- So I Married an Axe Murderer
- Aliens (on birthday last year- they do horror movies in October!)
- The Host (Korean horror/sci-fi, not the Twilight thing)
- A Very Long Engagement
- Let the Right One In (Swedish)
- Treasure of the Sierra Madre
- Babe: Pig in the City (I have no shame about crying in front of people during this movie)
- Gone With the Wind
- Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
- Oldboy (original)
- Big Trouble in Little China
- Primer (the science fiction one)
- Film festival shorts
- The Troll Hunter
And so many more! I can’t list them all!
As mentioned above, the Enzian does horror movies during the month of October – I’m already planning to see Shaun of the Dead and probably Beetlejuice, too.
I met up with a bunch of friends who are movie nerds like myself and we had a damn good time. I thought I saw Road Warrior like 20 years ago but apparently I was thinking of the first Mad Max, when he’s a cop. Ah well!
In lieu of a real review, here are my thoughts:
- More in line with Fury Road than Thunderdome, although I still love all three
- More feminist than I would have guessed (the female warrior was badass; there was also a chick who had the option to escape and did the honorable thing by staying with her people; women sat on the council and took up arms)
- The Feral Kid was the best
- Lord Humungus’s thighs needed their own credit. That dude was walking beef.
- One complaint – I couldn’t get over the assless chaps the raiders wore. Hell, just wearing shorts in Central Florida summer can get you burned on a cloth carseat, so Australian post-apocalyptic desert-wear should offer more protection from leather motorcycle saddles baked by the sun. Just a thought. Also I imagined the actor playing Wez was having fun as he flashed his cheeks at the camera with joyful abandon. It was a full moon at noon over the Aussie desert, y’all
- Jedidiah The Gyro Copter Pilot was also the best
SO! If you find yourself in Orlando, consider taking a day off from a theme park and hitting the Enzian for some REAL Central Florida flavor. I like roller coasters as much as the next person, but sometimes need a break from the sweaty throngs.
[EDIT: It only hit me this morning, the delicious irony of going to a high art movie theater to watch nitro-cannibals ride around on flaming motorcycles in assless chaps. But whatev- they wouldn’t show it if they didn’t love movies!]