Wednesday, March 31, 2010

At the Movies

On the iPod, "Young Turks" by Rod Stewart.
On the brain, waiting waiting waiting to hear back.
Also wondering if I have undiagnosed ADD...

In previous posts, I mentioned how I love love love movies. If I could get away with it, I would spend the day in the theater. Video rentals are OK, but hitting the theater for any movie (not just the big, action flicks) is one of my all-time favorite pastimes.

When I was in college, I ran with a big gang of friends. The core group was 12, nine guys and three girls, but the number would expand or contract depending on what was going on at the time.

Most of the guys had graduated high school together in Baton Rouge, and of the girls, one was my BFF Dara and the other was a friend of hers from high school who I adored, Louise.

Side note, Louise and Dara are now married to two of the guys from that group. One of the guys was my college boyfriend. It's inevitable.

Anyway, Louise, Dara, and half of the guys were also enrolled at USL in Lafayette, a 45-minute drive southwest from Baton Rouge. So they'd drive up for the weekend and we'd all go out, goof off, have fun. Our Sunday night wrap-up/ritual was catching a flick at the dollar movie on the LSU campus. Then the Lafayette contingent would make the 45-minute trip back across Whiskey Bay to college.

We saw so many films, and we were a goofy, hilarious bunch. So our favorites were comedies, but we watched anything--good stuff, bad stuff, awful stuff, scary stuff... Whatever. It was all about ganging up in the dark, chomping popcorn, heckling, and being entertained.

Currently, I'm very limited in my movie-going, and it's killing me! OK, I'm being dramatic, but I seriously can't wait for the day when the girls are old enough to start going to movies with me.

We do it now, but at the moment we're stuck waiting for the sporadic kid-flicks that they actually want to see. My girls are somewhat picky on their movie choices.

But I go with them to see whatever they'll try. Some I like--Diary of a Wimpy Kid (great!), Earth (super, but sad)--and some are a little disappointing--Princess and the Frog (stereotypical), Chipmunks II (not surprised), Barnyard (OK, Mamma-wuss actually cried)...

At the moment we're just holding our breaths for Airbender to open this summer.

I'm a little concerned, though, because it looks kinda scary for my little two. I mean, it's one thing to see Fire Lord Ozai as a cartoon and a whole 'nother to see him in real life.

My point in all this is there's required reading you do in high school to get you caught up on the history of books, to learn about the evolution of literature, to be enlightened on the different styles, to understand what was happening in society at the time, etc.

I think there should be a similar study involving movies. I'm sure there is, of course. I know when I was working at LSU, one of the English professors had a course that examined scary movies and one that looked at history in film.

I went through a major old-movie phase when I was about 12 years-old. I didn't have much else going on, and my parents were pretty strict when it came to TV. So I started renting old movies or watching them on cable.

It gave me a pretty well-rounded knowledge of films--at least old ones. I wasn't allowed to watch stuff from the 1970s forward, which was appropriate. I'm playing catch-up now, though, and wow. That was a crazy, edgy time at the box office.

Richard and I were watching Bridge on the River Kwai the other night, and I got to thinking. If I were to create a Top Ten movies to watch to get caught up on like where we've been and how much has changed (and how much hasn't)... hmm. Not sure I could do it. There's so many!

I guess I'd include the following:
-The Stranger (Orson Wells is a Nazi disguised as a teacher in New England--scary!),
-The Maltese Falcon (love the interplay between Bogey and Peter Lorre)
-Key Largo (the ultimate disenchanted war veteran/lost generation film)
-The Big Sleep (you gotta watch this one about 100 times to get it--the screenplay's by Faulkner)
-Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford slaps that girl--yes!)
-My Favorite Brunette (Bob Hope's best, plus Lon Chaney's a hoot. But only watch this one after the Bogy flicks...)
-Splendor in the Grass (the best of those 1950s "troubled teen" movies)
-Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Paul Newman... swoon!)
-Pick a David Lean film... Dr. Zhivago, Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, they're all amazing and give you a feel for that director's style along with great storytelling and sweeping cinematography...

And I haven't even scratched the surface. (Umm... film geek, Table 2?) Maybe I could just start throwing one out there every post. And please share! I love finding a new, great film.

Currently, the girls and I are anticipating the release of Oceans on April 22. Hopefully, there won't be another "circle of life" moment, although I'm sure there will...


Ex-pat Odessa said...

I'm with ya on the movie restricting. My friend and her mom contrived for me to spend the night with her so I could see E.T.! Sad!

Maltese Falcon was Awesome! So was Gilda-liked her guitar flicking version of "put the blame on mame"

Auntie Mame - LOVED that, Rosalind Russel was a hoot!

And yes, she slapped that little brat - go Joan (obviously she'd had LOADS of practice at home).

Thouroughly Modern Millie. Loved the tribute to the silent films, and Carol Channing shouting "Raspberries" Good time!

LTM said...

Yes! Forgot about Gilda... good one! And yes yes yes on A. Mame, TMM.

Also, North by Northwest was on TCM last night, and I remembered that I forgot all the old Hitchcock films. I prefer from Psycho forward b/c that's when he started adding the sweeping scores and camera angles.

You know I'm a sucker for a good score. Good stuff! :o)

JRichard said...

Replace "Splendor in the Grass" with "The Blob." Add "Peyton Place," "Touch of Evil," "The Godfather," "Silence of the Lambs," and "The Big Lebowski." Now there's a list for you.