Skip to main content

The List of Movie Nerdery: Part 2

Here's an important admission: I didn't always give the films my undivided attention. I usually did. I want to say I almost always did, but that would be reaching. Let's say nine elevenths of the time I had my eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. But sorry, some of the films were dead boring and, dammit, no one was paying me to watch them. Depending on the movie, there were three possible reasons why I didn't pay attention:
  1. It was jezus boring

  2. It was overly theatrical (either a play ineffectually turned in to a movie, or just a movie that felt like a play)

  3. I was in a piss-poor mood that day.

For the most part, I don't regret not giving these films their due. The Life of Emile Zola,
You Can't Take It With You, Gigi
: I really caught up on my Minesweeper while the three of you played. Cavalcade, Mrs. Minniver: I paid so little attention to you that I had to go back and read a synopsis right now to confirm I actually had seen you. The Apartment, The African Queen: I don't think either of you were as good as you were supposed to be, but I probably owe you a second chance.

And then there were movies I gave my full attention to that totally confounded me. Persona. Um? The Seventh Seal. Huh? No Country For Old Men. Wha? (I know it seems like one of these thing is not like the other, but I can't think of a single Coen Brothers movie I really appreciated the first time I saw it.)

Then there were other movies I thought I'd zone out on for sure. Movies I assumed must be greatly overrated, that I expected to feel indifferent to at best... and where I couldn't have been more wrong. Dances With Wolves is the perfect example. A Western, staring Kevin Costner, directed by... Kevin Costner. I heaved possibly the biggest sigh that had ever been heaved as I pressed play on that one--but it was brilliant. I'm no expert on portrayal of First Nations in film, but in my limited experience there's either the Crazy Injun depiction or the Noble Savage depiction. Dances With Wolves was neither. It was a studio movie centred about natives that treated them entirely without condescension. And sad to say, but I'd never seen that before. Life is Beautiful blew me away too. It's a comedy (or at least a comedic drama) about the holocaust. And it works! It's brilliant, and funny, and terribly sad.

Last and best were the movies I knew nothing about that I ended up loving. Ever heard of Going My Way? 1944 Best Picture winner staring Bing Crosby as a liberal Catholic priest sent to help out a failing conservative parish? Any bells ringing there? I doubt it. This. Movie. Was. Fan. Damn. Tastic. If you were raised Catholic (doesn't matter now if you're practicing, lapsed, or completely in denial), you will love this movie. The Best Years of Our Lives: also great. Three World War Two vets return home after the war and try to rebuild their lives. It sounds like a heartbreaking thing to watch, and it is plenty sad, but it's not a movie made to make you feel terrible. I liked this in the same way I liked Dances With Wolves. The dramatic structure of it, the message, all of that is far in the background. It feels like a movie about completely real people living real lives. These are experiences far from your own, but they don't feel like someone's impression or interpretation of how it must have gone, it feels like this happened.

So those are the highlights and lowlights of getting through this list. The Crying Game just came in from the library today. Woot. After that it's only five more. And what will I do with myself after I'm done? I don't know. Go outside? Read a book maybe? Who am I kidding--it's cold outside. And books are for suckers.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I think you should compile a list of the top 300 porn movies. And then watch all of them.
Anonymous said…
Wow.
drbethsnow, are you a man?
You certainly write like one!
Anonymous said…
A mule is an animal with long funny ears
he kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
he's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak
and by the way if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule

Popular posts from this blog

I should add...

... that two people were instrumental in my joining Twitter. First, Isha . She sent out an article on it when the application was still brand new. (And I remember thinking, "Screw that noise. Like I need more online commitments.) Second was Rebecca . She joined up just a short while ago, claiming she hadn't met a bandwidth she didn't like . (And then she disappeared entirely from the internets .) It looked nice and pretty over there on her sidebar, and then I got a little jealous. The rest: history. And for those unobservant among you ( Jorge ), the Twitter feed is right there on my sidebar, replacing the old Radio 3 player that I loved, but that I think scared the bejezus out of a lot of people. Also, everyone should join Twitter. I'm needing some diversions , people.

Sarah's List -- 101 things to do in Ottawa and area (in 1001)

Sarah here...I'm once again hijacking Dave's blog, this time to publish a list of my own. The backstory: I have been feeling like an underachiever for not having my own 1001 list, goal-oriented nerd that I am. When I realized that I would likely be doing most of Dave's tasks along with him, I changed my mind. I decided to put a slight twist on the 101 in 1001 concept; this list will certainly force us to discover our new home town. I'm posting this here for two reasons: a) because I have no website of my own, yet want to feel a bit of pressure to finish these tasks. b) Dave will be involved in all of them, so it's only fair! So...by March 15, 2008 , I (well, we) aim to do the following: 41 things to do in Ottawa and area (in 113) UPDATED: November 25, 2007 1. Visit the Canada and the World Pavillion [done 25/06/05 -- good thing, too, as it's closing in October 2005] 2. Visit the Diefenbunker [done 22/10/05 -- and it was AWESOME. Blaine (and JWo) will be o

Menopause-Themed Slot Machines = Awesome

We sleep in a little, then leave our bags with the bell desk and check out. Hauling ass to Cravings (the buffet at Mirage), we get there two minutes after the lunch prices come into play, but the cashier is a sweetheart and gives us breakfast prices anyways. There’s mediocre sushi, very good Chinese, and decent Italian, plus breakfast items which we avoid like the plague. After this, we head through Harrah’s and catch the monorail heading South. Having rocked the entire North end of the strip the day before, this last day is our chance to show the South end a good time, and not call it in the morning. Popping into MGM, we have a second crack at Studio City. This time, it’s a preview for an animated show called Creature Comforts . Basic premise: the producers have gone out and interviewed everyday peeps on topics like Keeping Secrets, Health, Sexuality, etc. While the audio remains intact, in place of the actual speakers are claymation sequences featuring animals as the speakers