Saturday, May 26, 2012

Personal Best



Apparently, on May 26th, 1982, my parents and I went to see Personal Best at (I think) the Serra Theater in South San Francisco, though I find that a little hard to believe, as that was a Wednesday, and I just can't see us going out of our way on a school night to see it...So maybe it was earlier or later in the week, and I wrote down the date wrong...

By the time we saw it, it had been out for several months, (it had opened in San Francisco in March), and was playing at a second run theater. Really, the movie wasn't that important to me in the scheme of things, although it did make think for about five minutes that perhaps I should take up running. (Never happened.)

It was also a bit scandalous at the time because it depicted a lesbian relationship pretty honestly, and perhaps explicitly. I think there was a love scene in it? I can't remember. Also: A lot of slo-mo running.

The only thing about the movie that I really remember is that I had seen a newspaper ad for the film that had a picture of Mariel Hemingway doing the splits, and said something to the effect of "The critics are split over Personal Best," and then listed blurbs from both positive and negative reviews. That was something I had never seen before--and ad that used negative reviews to sell a movie--and it stuck with me.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that ad ever ran in a San Francisco newspaper. I explored microfilm for the entire month of its release, and this is the only kind of ad that ran:


So, I'm guessing I probably saw the ad in the Village Voice, since my dad tended to get that every week...

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