I: Half a Movie
One day last fall, I walk out of a local movie theater onto the quiet street of Northampton, Massachusetts. I squint into the late-day sun after a matinee showing of Fast Food Nation, a film based on the book by Eric Schlosser. I am flooded with the kind of sensory disorientation that often follows an afternoon matinee—one that leaves the viewer suspended somewhere between day and night, reality and representation. This disorientation is intensified by the fact that, as I am leaving the theater, I remember that the friend with whom I want to discuss the film is no longer alive.