Why I Love Movies

Okay, so today I did NOT want to write.  It’s Sunday, my one day off with wifesy and I want waffles.  But, I’m committed to this post a day thing, so here I sit typing away while she sautés something that smells delicious.

Admittedly, I was going to whip off the quickest post possible.  I think I had something in mind called, “Haircuts Gone Wrong”.  I was going to feature what I call, “the medieval man-bob”.  See below.  It was going to be a listy sort of thing that consisted of a lot of funny for the eyes and probably less writing.

The medieval man bob.

But, it felt like a bit of a cop out.  It’s Oscar day.  And truly the Oscars are my super-bowl.  You see, I have ALWAYS loved movies.

I can remember the first movie I ever saw one as a kid, in the theater that is.  It was a double feature:  The Rescuers in combo with Grease, the original.  It was 1977.  I was 5 years old.  My dad took me and I think I was wearing some kind of jumper.  For some reason, whenever I had a really good time as a kid I always remember what clothes I wore.  Maybe because I wanted to underscore those moments with a big yellow highlighter pen in my brain.  Maybe it was the future writer in me.

Plain and simple, I wanted to be Rizzo – AT AGE 5!

So, for as long as I can remember, I have loved movies.  They were always my escape.  I remember my high school years through movies like Vision Quest and Quicksilver and everything by John Hughes.

I think my love for movies is linked to my love of story.  I’ve always loved to read and I’ve always loved a good movie.  There’s a rhythm to these stories, a rhythm that can be learned, I think.  As of late, over the last couple of years, I’ve really started studying story structure in earnest.  Not just picking up a Joseph Campbell book, but reading every damn thing I can on the subject.  I still feel like I don’t know enough.

And yet, the stories are still there everyday to teach me.  My DVR is full of them.  Hell, my closet is full of them.

When I met wifesy, she showed me her collection of movie dvds.  She had an entire cabinet full.  I was kind of like, “What the hell are these?”  I had never met anyone who really collected movies like that before.  CDs sure, maybe even video games, but not this many movies.  I asked her why she bought them all and she really didn’t have an answer.  Over time, I’ve realized that they comfort her.  In a lot of ways, they’ve been the backdrop of her life.  When she studied incredibly long hours, alone, in veterinary school she’d have Harry Potter on in the background.  She’d mute the sound and just play the images for comfort.  The rare times I’ve left wifesy to go on the road, she’d put an old movie on, and fall asleep to it.

Now, I can’t do this – fall asleep to movies.  Because when I watch movies it’s a fully-there, fully-focused, all systems engaged kind of process.  That’s why I don’t usually like watching them more than once.  If I’ve seen it unfold once, I don’t feel the same thrill I felt when I watch it all again.  At least, that used to be my theory.

But, wifesy, has changed my mind here, as with many other things.  If a lot of time has passed – especially if it’s a really good film – watching a movie again, is like seeing it the very first time.

I had this experience with The Hours.  I couldn’t remember what the hell was going to happen.  I had a vague recollection that so and so was going to die, but that was it.  The performances were so good (isn’t everything with Meryl Streep?!) that I lost myself entirely all over again.

I think I shy away from watching really good dramas again and again because they take me on emotional roller coasters and creep my soul into tight emotional spaces that I don’t always want to visit, but then again that’s not always true.  I’ve watched that climax scene from Notes on a Scandal like a 100 times.  I can almost recite it.  “Did you think we would roll around on the floor like lovers?  Christ, did you think you were Virgina Fuckin’ Wolf?!!”  Something like that and then Cate Blanchett slams little, old, lady, Dame Judi Dench up against the built-in wall cabinet!  It’s white knuckle-ingly GOOOOOD stuff.  Also, I read somewhere that Judy Dench wore a Mutant Ninja Turtles pillow taped to her back for the wall slam moment and something about that just makes me smile.  In my sick, comedic, mind I’d like to re-do that entire scene starring two drag queens.  I don’t know why, there’s something about the drama of it that just seems fitting.

Now, a really good comedy I can watch again and again without hesitation.  The one we simply won’t erase – as of late – is Get Him to the Greek with Russel Brand and Jonah Hill.  There’s just something about watching Jonah Hill lose his mind and yet still try to keep things in control that is pitch perfect funny.  I also feel until you’ve seen a grown man almost raped by a drunk girl with a giant dildo – well – you just haven’t lived.

So, that’s my post for today.  Writing is out of the way!  Wifesy and I are going to rent something that’s up for an award – The Help or Iron Lady – something like that.  I’m going to kick back and lose myself in some stories.  (After I have those waffles, of course.)  Lose myself in some stories like I’ve been doing since I was a kid.  Like I’ve been doing since I was 5.  It’s going to be a great day.

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Photo creds:  Cate & Judi (courtesy of thecinemasource.com), Rizzo, Man bob