Sunday, February 7, 2016

Safe in the Dream of Cinema

In a dream, in a place and time that never changes, in a piece of film, that is my safe place. No matter how uncertain the world, I can count on:

C.C. Baxter and Miss Kubelik playing gin
The Little Tramp's joy at realizing the Blind Girl can see
Eve Kendall recommending the trout to Roger Thornhill
The super shine of the floor (not to mention the starry sky) as Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell tap to Begin the Beguine
Norma Desmond's cigarette holder

They are always there, always a comfort when things turn topsy-turvy. That's how it is with classic movie lovers, and like genies we can disappear into the magic lantern that is the world of cinema. 
Safe inside our enchanted bottle, we can count on the fixed, repetitive nature of film as an occasional escape from the onslaught of the unknown. 

Like many movie lovers, I tend to gravitate towards the well-known-to-me comfort of a film I have seen many times when feeling the need for escape. However, as I read the posts of other classic film bloggers, knowledgeable Facebook folks and other internet cinephiles, I realize that I also tend to resist watching some must-see classic films. 

I was recently inspired by Leticia at Critica Retro, who listed her 2016 list of classic films she must see. Brave girl! Because I can't quite commit to 12 films, I am going to try to see 6 classic films this year that I have managed to avoid because they are either slightly out of my comfort zone or for some other crazy resistance:

The Lost Weekend
This is already waiting on my DVR. Although Billy Wilder is tops in my book, I tend to avoid films about drinking. But, I have been convinced it is worth watching.

How Green Was My Valley
I know, I know.... I'm on it.

Gun Crazy 
I'm actually excited about this one. I'll do it this time!

L'Age D'Or
I'm kind of afraid, but I'm going in......

The Palm Beach Story
Why have I resisted? Probably because, for some reason, Preston Sturges makes me a little nervous. I'm not sure why, but I think it's for no good reason.

To Have and Have Not

I generally do not like Hawks, Hemingway, or Bogart and am not over the moon about Bacall, but it's a classic, right? 

Wish me luck!


Citizen Screen said...

HOW EXCITING!! We should pick up the baton and continue this! I can't wait to read/hear what you think of these movies, Marsha. GOOD LUCK!


FlickChick said...

Thanks, Aurora - I will do this!!

Caftan Woman said...

A few years ago I required an extended hospital stay and shared a room with a lady approximately 30 years my senior. She was full of joy and personality, and she was NOT a movie fan. She was curious and puzzled by my enthusiasm as she preferred to spend her leisure time gardening and reading. However, in an effort to reach out she told me about the one movie she recalled as memorable and asked if I had ever heard of "How Green Was My Valley".

I told her that if a person only saw or liked one movie in all their life, they could do no better than "How Green Was My Valley".

You may rightly be a little suspicious of a crazy Fordian who carries on about the movie, but my former roommate's recommendation is completely unbiased.

Silver Screenings said...

You have some great watching ahead of you, in my opinion. I can't wait to read your reaction to some/all of these films, especially "To Have/Have Not".

I've never seen the French film – maybe I should add that to my list!

Inge Gregusch said...

I prefer to reside in that dream world you depicted so well, but wish you luck with your reality classics. Lovely post, as always.

FlickChick said...

CW - I believe you! I really need to see this. It got so much love when Maureen O'Hara passed away last year. I feel so ashamed....

FlickChick said...

Hey Ruth - I hope to be able to report back - just to close the circle.

FlickChick said...

Inge - to be honest, me, too - but after I see something I resist, I am usually glad. A few years ago was the first time I watched "On the Waterfront" and I'm sorry I waited so long.


I'm glad I'm inspired you! I listed 15 films last year and had to hurry to see all of them. I listed 12 this year, and hopefully next year I'll settle in ten!
Some warnings: bring tissues to watch How Green is my Valley! Have your mind (and mouth) open to see L'Age D'Or (I had to see twice to actually get it!). And The Lost Weekend is just sooooo good! I watch the film whenever it's on TV!

FlickChick said...

You inspire me! I will keep you posted.