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When I saw Grindhouse, one of my friends kept pointing at a man far behind us in a hooded sweater. “It’s him!” she said. “It’s Nicholas Cage!” I wished she’d shut up. The last thing I care for is celebrity sightings, and what would Cage be doing anyway in the AMC Loews Georgetown theater? I tried to keep my eyes on the film, but now I didn’t want to. I wanted to stare up at the hooded man to see if he really was Nick Cage. “Why did you have to do that?” I wanted to say, and perhaps fling popcorn at her for putting my curiosity on alert. Then the movie was on. I lost myself to the strippers and the dead. Halfway through Grindhouse, we see a Rob Zombie trailer called “Werewolf Women of the SS.” It includes a cameo of Cage as Fu Manchu, making devilish gestures in front of a Nazi flag. At this provocation, my friend was at it again: “Did you see him? Did you see him? He’s really up there.” No peace.
We were leaving the theater. Cars rumbled on the overpass, people walked in dirty coats, and my friend was preparing her camera. I shook my head. One sees no celebrities in places like this. Then, through the glass doors, I noticed the man in the sweater, wearing a scarf, walking with a dark-haired woman. I gaped. This did, indeed, resemble the face I knew from Gone in 60 Seconds. Some young men approached them; I could see them talking, smiling, the hooded man giving a wave. The men came through the doors in satisfied awe. “Yeah,” one of them said. “It’s him.”