Saturday, June 27

"Now, Dimitri...!"

As my friends know, I'm a big film fan. I love revisiting the oldies mostly because I'm always shocked at how much I don't remember about each. Also, because there are so many great films out there, it's easy to forget about just how good some of the older flicks are.

The night before my fun girly Saturday, last weekend, I got in late. I went through my usual bedtime routine changed into pjs, washed my face and brushed my teeth. Then, while settling into bed, I came across an odd choice for bedtime viewing but it was so compelling I stayed up 'til the end. I watched the last 45 minutes or so of Goodfellas. I had completely forgotten just how good that movie is. Of course I've been jonesing to see the entire film ever since. Good music too, and that DiNiro is a psycho.

About two weeks ago I came across the last hour of Jaws. Now, that's a movie that I will pretty much settle on every time I come across it on cable. (But only commercial free. I can't watch these good movies with constant interruption. To do so would be a sin in my book.) The only bummer is that when Quint is munched in half by the shark I now think of my niece and that time I let her and her brother watch Jaws with me. I still feel somewhat guilty about that. It's just not appropriate for a 6 year old but the kid had enough sense to turn her head away from the screen every time she heard that famous music, so that helped. Jaws also makes me think of a fantastic book, recommended to me by Shandon, about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis called In Harm's Way. It tells the story Quint refers to in the drunken scar competition in Jaws and I consider it a must read.

TCM has been dedicating entire days to great film directors this month. I caught a great documentary called Scorsese on Scorsese (that was on the Goodfellas day). I saw a Woody Allen doc that I enjoyed but one of the best was on Stanley Kubrick. I often say "I'm not a fan" when his name is mentioned but it's not entirely true. The trouble with Kubrick is that he directed such an eclectic bunch of films that there is inevitably something in there for everyone. I happen to genuinely admire Lolita and downright LOVE Dr. Strangelove and The Shining. To this day I turn my head when those creepy twins show up on screen. They still scare the hell out of me. I used to believe The Exorcist was the scariest movie out there but now I'm convinced that title belongs to The Shining. (And yes, I look forward to watching The Shining with my niece and nephew some day but I'm afraid that won't be happening for another decode or so.) The flip side to Kubrick is that he also directed some of my all time least favorite movies, films like A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut. I just never need to see those again. As for 2001: A Space Odyssey, I admit that I probably need to revisit it. It bored me to tears when I saw it ages ago. I suppose I'll watch it again some day.

Today is Hitchcock day on TCM. It's been a good day too. I woke to the last hour of Rebecca, one of my all-time favorite movies. I caught Psycho this afternoon and, again, was surprised at just how good it is. My Mom always tells me how shocking it was when it came out. It's good to understand it's place in cinematic history but even without that knowledge it's always better than I remembered. The creep factor is off the charts. I'd forgotten all about Norman doing the peeping Tom routine. I saw a really fun episode of Dick Cavett featuring Hitchcock, that too was good. The man seemed to really enjoying revealing his filmmaker tricks to anyone who would listen. Sort of like a magician who compulsively gives away his trade secrets.

So what's what's the point of this rambling? Well, I made a strange group purchase from today. I picked up special edition DVDs of Goodfellas, Jaws, The Shining and Pinocchio. Fun mix, huh? I look forward to watching them all. I think there's an opposites double feature in there too. Always a plus.

1 comment:

shandon said...

Today I caught Marnie (lame!) and North by Northwest (superb). I tried to make it through Notorious AGAIN, and for the fourth time I was bored out of my mind. Tomorrow TCM is showing Gaslight!

I love Goodfellas. I remember how I felt the first time I saw it: I recognized early on that I was in the hands of a director who had utter confidence in himself and his work, and I literally settled back into my chair and went for the ride. It's a rare feeling.

And, well, you know how I feel about Jaws.