Earlier today an HE reader ran a portion of my quote from John Anderson‘s 4.8 N.Y. Times piece about spoilers, so here’s the whole thing: “There’s no holding on to anything these days. It’s just a matter of minutes of searching around. And it’s a shame, because the greatest thing is seeing a film fresh, with no advance buzz. Now you know everything about a film before you go see it. But I’m part of that process, so who am I to complain?”
My point was that none of us can go home again. I used to see long-lead screenings of new films in the early ’80s as a Manhattan freelancer, and every now and then it was beautiful. One of my all-time transporting movie experiences was seeing Local Hero totally cold, before anybody had said a single word about it. But those days are long gone and no amount of accusatory finger-pointing and hand-wringing will bring them back.
Nobody should ever reveal a significant third-act plot point of any kind (and revealing that Meek’s Cutoff ends with the sight of a big, half-dead pine tree is definitely not a spoiler), but sometimes you have to let this and that detail leak out if you’re going to mix it up and discuss new angles and undercurrents in quasi-early bird fashion..