There are so many moments and events, memories, thoughts, likes and dislikes in my life I would like to share with my computer screen, but I am too …..gutless, embarrassed, shy, concerned, private…….no, all might be true, but the real finish to the sentence is…….likely not to do it well and that would embarrass me.
Also, I tend to be too wordy.
I have a lot a favorites in life….and it has been such a good life ……I have been tremendously fortunate for all my travels through it.
To start with, I cannot remember the last time I was bored. (It’s genetic, folks, but one can be trained.)
I used to like movies…..however, I was always very picky about what I would see…..even when going to the Saturday matinees when I was only eight or nine years old….and going by myself occasionally…for ten cents a ticket.
Today, Hollywood enjoys its present life in the tarpits of tastelessness and glitz filled with its strident political noises and smells from people who probably all of their lives never learned anything real and never thought in the world of reality. And so many notables are freaks of one sort or another…..that is, folks without any core.
My generation….those born in the mid 1930s, those of us approaching our eighties, learned a powerful code of life from movies and radio besides family and church. ”A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, ” I Remember Mama”, “Eagle Squadron”, “Black Swan”, “Lassie Come Home”, “My Friend Flicka”, “Tom Sawyer”, “Cheaper by the Dozen”, even The Picture of Dorian Gray and Henry V with Lawrence Olivier….. and I could go on and on, believe me, listing movies which helped mold my being.
I was twelve when I saw the movie, “The Spiral Staircase”. There was some discussion I overheard between my parents about the movie being too scary. “Maybe the kids shouldn’t be allowed to see it”. My dad didn’t answer and the question drifted. I scurried off to nearby Highland Theater that very night to see it before anyone would make up their mind. I never wanted to disobey my parents….and never, ever my dad. Then, he never caused me to disobey. I tried to skirt obeying instead….such as going to the movie that night. There weren’t many rules, exactly. “Some things simply should be done without asking persmission”….that was the rule generally.
Going to see the movie, “The Spiral Staircase” should have required permission….not going to movies in general…I did that all of the time, alone and/or with a neighborhood buddy when I was eight…(only in the summer). But I was supposed to know those movies I should ask permission to see…..The vagueness of what I was supposed to know, led to a very leaky rule indeed.
I am off to see “Staircase”. Its June. Cloudy and muggy when I left the house. Lightning, thunder, and rain followed me home, terrorized as if I were part of an added chapter to the murders which had taken place in the film. The victims in the film were gals. It didn’t matter. I didn’t have time to worry about details.
I have seen some fine films in my lifetime. For some reason I have an urge to list some of my favorites….one which I have to see regularly from time to time. Such as one does with exceptional art. Most things in life are more beautiful than others, despite what our modern socialist gods claim.
If I were to live on an island alone somewhere, these are ten films I would have to take with me: Two are the BEST: “The Seventh Seal” and “The Lives of Others”. “Paleface” a hillarious comedy with Bob Hope (would be banned today)……a musical, “My Fair Lady”…. three Woody Allen”s, “Bullets Over Broadway” (also hillarious), “Purple Rose of Cairo”, and “Radio Days”, “Bridge on the River Kwai” (great war movie)….”2001 Space Odyssey” (the scene where David is executing Hal is the best example ever of what the aging mind experiences in slower motion…..”Topsy Turvy”, beautiful to look at and listen to, and to remember the genius of Gilbert and Sullivan…..makes ten.
Oh, I have forgotten two of the very, very best films ever made, so I would have to take twelve to my island…..”Godfather I” and “Godfather II”…..the best films ever produced in my view. I probably have seen them twenty times…..and find them spellbinding every minute I watch.
The best scene in all movie making is the garden setting where Marlon Brando is playing around with his grandson, making faces, scaring the little boy, and begins to suffer his heart attack.
I have hated gangsters, gangster movies, and gangs all of my life. Disgusting people, end of story. For a film to capture my concern and sympathy for a family based on murder and corruption, stories I detest, adds to the power of production of this movie and the way it has commanded my viewing.
Note: Every American should see the best rendering in art form, of anything depicting a Marxist dictatorship…the movie, “The Lives of Others”. Sometimes, art can produce an education quicker and more deeply profound than some learnings from life’s experience. This is one of those rarities.
I visited the Soviet Union twice in my life, once in 1966 and again in 1990. I visited East Berlin and Check Point Charlie in 1993 after the fall of the wall just a few years earlier. The “remodeling” of the Communist part of the city hadn’t really taken place yet. One should become well acquainted with governments which believe in the justice of forced equality and their secret police which are required to maintain this “justice”. Barack Obama, for one, I am thinking, who so admires government rule of our lives.