Thursday, November 14, 2013

Insanity at Linsanity

The new documentary movie Linsanity follows the meteoric rise of Chinese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin, who played for Harvard, the only school who offered him a place on its team. He was an undrafted unknown, who in the 2010-11 season was released by the Golden State Warriors and then the Houston Rockets, before becoming a shooting phenomenon for the New York Knicks in the 2011-12 season.

Lin could have been a valuable asset to the Golden State Warriors, since the San Francisco-Oakland area was heavily populated with Asian Americans, as was New York City. He would be the first Chinese player born in America, although some consider his Palo Alto, California birthplace to be a somewhat foreign enclave.

As a free agent, he was offered a three-year, $25 million contract from the Houston Rockets, and when the Knicks refused to match the offer, Lin became the point card for the Rockets.

The independently produced movie has had a very limited run, and when it played at the Pacific Rim Film Festival last month in Santa Cruz, we decided to go early and wait in line to see the free movie. When we arrived twenty-minutes before the movie was to start, there was already a line of more then fifty people waiting outside.  As we waited in the cooling nighttime air, we heard the man in front of us saying that his wife was already inside, that the movie house was full, and there were no more seats available.

We went home and I checked the area newspaper and saw that Linsanity was playing at the Blue Light Cinema in Cupertino, about forty miles away. Since we were going to be in San Jose later in the week for our 2 to 3PM table tennis lessons, we would be able to take a relatively short drive and make the 3:40 PM showing.

I ran off a MapQuest with the directions for the twenty-minute drive, and although the Blue Light cinema was not that easy to find, we were there in plenty of time. The arrow on the ticket window pointed inside, and we saw no one in the lobby, but found and interrupted two rather rotund female workers who were chatting behind the refreshment counter, and purchased two tickets.

The two women pointed out how to get to Theater 4 where Linsanity was playing, and we cautiously entered into the poorly lit, dingy and dirty theater. The rows of seats were set in a haphazard, undulating formation, so that some rows were higher than the rows behind them.

There were ninety-two available seats, although two near the back were covered with black plastic garbage bags, much like the ones you might see covering an unworkable urinal. Unfortunately, the best view from our perspective was behind these seats.

I strolled down the aisle to the stage, inspecting the theater, and found candy wrappers and other debris decorating the floor.  We sat down and talked about the venue and about the movie we had read about and were anxious to see.

Before the lights dimmed, we looked around Theater 4 and suddenly realized that we were the only Caucasians in attendance. The other ninety seats were unoccupied.

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