Archive for November 10th, 2007

November 10, 2007

The silver screen

They have recently put a poster containing 101 memorable movie lines in our lobby and I was astounded to realize I was able to identify roughly 85% of them and name the movie. As I  move along in years I seem to have seen an astounding number of movies and, at one point, I was watching about three a night so I dare not even guess at the total. I love films and find myself getting completely absorbed in the best of them. To me it is far more appealing than the dramatic stage because, despite the fact it is clearly aimed at a mass audience, I find the experience much more personal. Whereas the stage requires exaggerated movements and voice projection and thus rings less than true,  film can capture the most nuanced of expressions and most subtle of vocal inflections. A simple glance from Liv Ullman can carry more meaning than all the shouting in the world.

The first two films I remember seeing were the Sound of Music and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I was enthralled. Since that time I think I have seen most of the films worth seeing and a goodly number that were decidedly not worth seeing. I have also tried to make up by understanding classic cinema and catching up on the great older films such as Citizen Kane or Now Voyager. The funny thing is that for every great film I have seen there is usually a really, really bad film I love just as much. It must be my love of kitsch but I can safely say I enjoyed Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte as much as i enjoyed Casablanca. I may have watch The Matrix at least 20 times but I am pretty sure I have done the same with Towering Inferno as I am unable to tear my eyes away whenever it shows on late night TV. The same can be said for every Airport movie ever made…I seem to be hypnotized by Karen Black’s scary eyes. I think it fills the whole Ying and Yang theory of differing energies that are both required for balance. The apotheosis of this, to me, is the brilliant film Ed Woods ,starring the brilliant Johnny Depp, which is by any account a great film and it tells the story of a man who is possibly one of the worst filmmakers of all time whose film Plan Nine from Outer Space I just adore. What is not to love about flying hubcaps masquerading as UFOs or cardboard tombstones wobbling as the “actors” walk past. Happy thoughts.

Of all the blogs, in all the towns, in all the world, you  walk into mine. With apologies to Casablanca.