Now that I live in New York the suburban and small town experience of “the driveway” feels somewhat lost to me — we’ve got our alleys and we’ve got some parking spaces, but those don’t really have the same sense of place, of experience, that a driveway does. How many goodbyes can you recollect being said in the driveways of your life? How much time as a kid (assuming you didn’t grow up in a big city) did you spend playing, much to your parent’s probable chagrin, in that rectangular patch of asphalt astride your home? I’ve no doubt got scars on my knees still from those days, spilling off of tricycles and sipping from the hose.
There were more frightening times — my number one fore-fronted driveway memory involves a stranger’s house; a friend of a friend they lived down the street from our church, and one teenage night messing around I pretended to dunk a basketball. Just goofing around, but in my typically clumsy manner (I interacted with people so scarcely I didn’t know how to behave like a proper one) I grabbed onto and bent their brand new basketball hoop to ruin. My friend told me to run and run I did, into the night — I spent weeks dodging those strangers, until finally I got punched in the face half a block from my church’s door.
A somewhat random story to share but Spa Night director Andrew Ahn’s new film, a straight-up stellar piece of work called Driveways, has been driving me to such of-the-past introspection ever since I saw it at Tribeca way back in 2019. The film’s finally out streaming as of today, and I maybe can’t toss enough heaven-high positive adjectives in its direction to get across to you how very much I adore this movie. It’s magic, twilight, it’s the buzz of fireflies in a vacant neighborhood lot as the sun goes down. It brings back floods of memories, weird little nooks of ones I haven’t remembered in ages — it does everything a movie should do, and you should see it ASAP.