A little after 12:30 AM in Aurora, Colorado, a man walked into a movie theater and opened fire. According to news reports, 24-year-old James Holmes entered a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” set off a gas canister, and began shooting. He killed twelve people and injured fifty more.
I’m sitting here following the developments online and I want to write something about them because that’s what I do. But what can you possibly say at a time like this?
You can say that your thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families in Colorado. You can say you’re distraught over the news. You can say this isn’t supposed to happen, especially not in a movie theater, where we all go to escape from a world full of horror and sadness. You can say you hope movies aren’t blamed for the despicable actions of one man.
I wrote a lot this week about “The Dark Knight Rises” and film critics and death threats. It all seems so trivial now. Hopefully this tragedy will remind us that there are bigger things in this world than movie reviews, bigger things even than movies, and that everyone who cares enough about film to get into a field as troubled as criticism, everyone who cares enough about film to passionately defend something they haven’t even seen, everyone who cares enough about film to go see a movie at midnight on a weekday — is part of a community of movie lovers. And as a community we should respect one another and take care of one another and be grateful for one another regardless of our differences of opinion. Because who knows when all of this will be taken from us.
That’s all I can say for now.