On March 26 of 2000, I watched the Kingdome implode from some weird overlook in West Seattle. I remember it clearly because: (1) Holy shit! The Kingdome imploded! And (2) March 25, 2000, was the last time I smoked pot. At the time, I wasn't super into smoking pot, but, you know, it seemed like an okay idea. I was at a party! They were going to implode the Kingdome! But that night, the night before they imploded the Kingdome, something odd happened to my brain, which we can go ahead and call "hours and hours of nonstop crippling terror." Time was moving backward. What was happening to time? Where was my foot going? Was my brain controlling me or was I controlling my brain? I had to curl up in the fetal position on a lumpy loveseat and wait for morning. Then we walked to that weird overlook, and then the Kingdome fell down. My friend who was with me that night still likes to make fun of me: "What's the matter, Lindy? Are you afraid to walk backward because it's like you're walking backward in time?" Anyway, pot sucks.
Friday night, at his screening at Vermillion Gallery, experimental filmmaker Jon Behrens asked us to think about the Kingdome. When they announced the implosion, he said, he knew he wanted to film it. But he wanted to do something different—I believe he used the word "Warholian." He decided to film "like, the moments before the actual implosion, for five minutes... then another five minutes of just the dust cloud." I laughed. He was not joking. And so, we sat, and we watched a full five minutes of nothing happening to the Kingdome. He instructed us to chat, as though we were watching it live. I thought about walking backward in time. I wonder if there are birds in there, I thought. I bet a lot of birds died when they imploded that shit. Then the implosion, the dust cloud, another five minutes. "BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS!" yelled a woman in the audience. I liked it. I was surprised.
The rest of the program was less accessible. I guess, like most pedestrian film watchers, I'm hopelessly attached to narrative. An eyeball. The color magenta. Buildings. Cars in fast motion. A human toe. CLANG! PING! BOOOOP! CLANG! Parts of it (particularly Behrens's hand-painted reels) were pretty and sinister and hypnotic—like I might walk out and discover I've been made into a Scientologist or something—but an equal amount (particularly the parts with the eyeball "all looking to and fro! to and fro!" my friend whispered) felt too close to parody. I couldn't help thinking: I don't know how to tell the difference between this and that cuckoo boat sequence in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory where there's no knowing where they're rowing. It would probably help if I smoked pot.