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5 Jul 2006

Pictures, the Talking Kind: July.

Written by sally @ 8:39 am — Section:

1. Why I love The Philadelphia Story: because there is a character named C.K. Dexter Haven; because Dinah sings “Lydia the Tattooed Lady”; because I love Katharine Hepburn’s clothes, including her bathing suit and bathing suit cover up; because they use the word “yar” a lot; because Dexter loves Tracy because she is a pill, not despite it.

2. I have seen Moonstruck more times than is probably recommended, and I keep watching it for this reason: tortured, mutilated breadmakers who love opera should be cherished. Also, because my mother and I are prone to say, Oh my gaaaaad, it’s exquisite when we come across something lovely (in the spirit of Mona when she receives her gaudy birds and stars bracelet from Cosmo).

3. I had a dream once that Joe Bradley was my boyfriend. Not Gregory Peck, but Joe Bradley, the character he plays in Roman Holiday. A perfect movie: Audrey Hepburn, Rome, true love, a man who wears real pajamas, an awesome haircut, Eddie Arnold as a beatnik named Irving, Vespas, and an unbelievable ending.

4. Chinatown! Good lord, but Jack Nicholson is a fine man. And the ending! The twist! Good lord! I fell off of the couch the first time I saw this movie. Ok, maybe I didn’t literally fall off, but I did gasp aloud.

5. It should come as no surprise that I enjoy musicals. I wish I lived in a world where, when overcome by great emotion, we could aptly express ourselves through song. My favorite musical movie is Carousel. Gordon McRae is such an asshole, a carnival barker asshole, at that. But in his gruff way he is sort of charming, and what could be better than a movie where people sing things like this was a real nice clambake / we’re mighty glad we came / the vittles we et were good, you bet / the company was the same? Other than the camp of that, there is the best song from a musical of all time: “If I Loved You,” which, when sung by the ghost of a dead asshole looking down on the daughter he never knew, can make you weep.

6. I will always love Woody Allen, no matter who he marries, based upon Annie Hall.

7. Also on Hannah and Her Sisters.

8. If you watch Stage Door enough times, you will be able to nail that Katharine Hepburn accent, at least when you say this line: “The calla lillies are in bloom. Such a strange flower.” Tip: “flower” is pronounced “flaaaa.”

9. Ok, so it is possible that I have a secret storehouse of marginally watchable movies that I like to watch when I am sick at home with the flu. One of them is Hope Floats and the other is Return to Me. I’m not sure why I feel the compulsion to confess everything all the time, but I hope you’re happy.

10. Charlie Kaufman is a genius, a hero, a god. Must you ask why? Have you not seen Adaptation? The most clever movie ever made. I will never stop laughing over the fact that at the Golden Globes, when the award for best adapted screenplay was being presented, there was a split screen of Charlie and Donald Kaufman. Only Donald is made up, so it was just a reverse image of Charlie.

11. Sure, it may not be high art, but if The Fugitive comes on tv, I’m totally watching it.

12. I saw Dead Poets Society 5 or 6 times in the theater. I think that automatically qualifies it as a favorite movie, although by the same logic I would also have to include Annie and E.T.

13. Young Frankenstein is one of those movies that it is totally annoying to watch with me because I tend to talk along with the movie and spoil all the punchlines. For some reason I enjoy yelling out “what knockers!” and “give him a sed-a-give!” about a half-second before Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman do. I think it’s because I might be a little bit of an asshole. Charming story: once I was watching this movie with two friends who also knew it really well, and we were all yelling out lines and drinking wine and everything was great. Until I started throwing up uncontrollably, and they had to carry me out to the car like a log (seriously: think about how you would carry a log that is five feet ten inches long) and put me in bed and bring a trash can to the edge of the bed in case more throwing up happened (it did), and that is the story where I discover I’m allergic to wine.

14. One more Woody Allen movie: Everyone Says I Love You. I like musicals, I like Woody Allen, so there’s just nothing wrong with this idea. Except perhaps when Julia Roberts sings. Because that wasn’t so good.

15. So there’s this not-really-a-documentary called That’s Dancing! which is two hours of dance scenes from various movies, and if you are into that kind of thing (which I am) it is two hours of awesome. My idol Ruby Keeler is featured heavily, as is my boyfriend Gene Kelly. (What I wanted to be when I grew up: a tap dancer.)

16. In My Favorite Wife, Cary Grant’s wife is lost at sea; seven years later, he has her declared legally dead and he remarries a horrible woman named Bianca. However, as luck would have it, his dead wife (Irene Dunne) returns that very day and crashes his honeymoon! Oh, the madcap antics of the 40s. There are many scenes involving Cary Grant in his pajamas.

17. The 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice is by far my favorite, and people: I like me some Pride and Prejudice. Lawrence Olivier is Mr. Darcy, and he plays him as full-throttle disgusted snob; I have to say that in the new version, that Mr. Darcy is more pained than disgusted, which was a nice touch. But Elizabeth Bennet is never lovelier or wittier than when she is played by Greer Garson.

18. I love The English Patient. I have watched it many times, the last few with a more critical eye, looking for flaws. The thing is, I can find none! There’s nothing wrong with this movie. It has everything an old fashioned movie should have: exotic locations, tragedy in wartime, true love, beautiful actors. People: Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes in the same movie? Not to mention Colin Firth and Kristin Scott-Thomas and Sayid from Lost. Come on.

19. I can’t resist Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was deprived of it as a child and first saw it when I was 18 or so — and thought I would lose my mind. Gene Wilder is the bomb, yo.

20. Today is my mother’s birthday, and so I should say that one of the movies that we reference often is the movie for today. The choices are: Crimes of the Heart, The Butcher’s Wife (seriously: has anyone seen this? it’s a great little movie!), Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Imitation of Life. I like all these movies very much, but I think that I will instead choose a movie that I can watch over and over, again and again, even in the same day: A Christmas Story. Come on. You know you watch it over and over on Christmas Eve, too. By the way, my mother hates that movie.

21. I don’t really have anything else to say about Stand by Me except that I love it.

22. My dad had a bunch of movies taped off of cable, and when I went to visit him, I used to watch the same ones over and over: Peggy Sue Got Married and Romancing the Stone. (My stepbrother, who visited on alternate weekends, was fond of 9 to 5.) Peggy Sue Got Married has some of my favorite things in it: time travel (really!), the 50s, Nicholas Cage singing, and a hott beatnik, complete with coffee-drinking and a black turtleneck. Seriously, it’s almost too much for me.

23. If you are a girl my age, and do not know every line of When Harry Met Sally… by heart, then shame on you.

24. I’d seen Some Like It Hot before, but it wasn’t until I saw it on the big screen that I saw that it was perfection. First, Marilyn’s boobs are perfection. If you have seen them when they are 30 feet tall, you will agree with me. Secondly, have you seen the ending? Can you believe the ending? I mean, the movie was made in 1959! How progressive!

25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: it’s Charlie Kaufman, Jim Carrey, and Kate Winslet. How could it be bad? Answer: it could not. In fact, it is wonderful. The sets alone are Oscar-worthy. I could spend hours in Clementine’s apartment — she has so much stuff. And the concept of erasing your memory of someone is so awful and sad — especially for someone like me, who is a memory junkie — that it makes for an especially compelling and strange and wonderful movie.

26. The Apartment. Sad and sweet, with the adorable Shirley MacLain.

27. I went through a phase as a pre-teen in which I greatly enjoyed Jerry Lewis movies. A LOT. There is one in particular that I still really like: Artists and Models. I can’t resist spoiling the plot with this from IMDb:

Rick Todd is a struggling artist who lives with his pal Eugene Fullstack who happens to be a writer of childrens stories. Rick would like to break in the comic book industry but he has one problem, he can’t write. However, Eugene’s overactive imagination as well as his obsession with comic books causes him to have wild dreams of a super hero named Vincent the Vulture and Rick uses Eugene’s dreams to create a comic book featuring Vincent. Living in the same building as the boys is Abigail Parker and her roomate Betsy Sparrowbush. Abigail happens to be the author of Eugene’s favorite comic book, Bat Lady, and Betsy is her model. During one of Eugene’s dreams, he comes up with the formula for a secret rocket fuel, which happens to be an exact copy of a formula the government is working on. Soon, a group of enemy agents are after Eugene in order to get the rest of the formula.

That is what I call awesome.

28. I can’t believe I haven’t already mentioned how much I love A Room with a View. The movie (much more than the book) shaped and distorted my notion of romantic love. I first saw this movie sometime in high school, and from then on I dreamed that I would meet a man who would climb a tree in the Italian countryside and bellow “Truth! Beauty!” while thinking deep thoughts passionately. I mean, come on. George Emerson is the perfect man; he is flawed, but in such charming ways. And don’t get me started on how hot Freddy Honeychurch is. This movie gets bonus points for hilarious, bouncing male nudity. One line that Lucy says in the book that is not in the movie is one I think to myself all the time: “I want not to be muddled. I want to grow older quickly.”

29. I relate to many things in Amelie, but I want more than anything to get my chubby mitts on that photobooth scrapbook.

30. Oh, how I love The Goodbye Girl. It’s so…70s.

31. The Way We Were, but only the first part. After they go to California, I’m done. How I dream of Hubbell Gardner. There was a mean and nasty yet hot boy in high school who I was convinced was a secret Hubbell Gardner. I think imagining that he fancied himself the great American novelist was the only way of justifying the fact that I thought he was hot.

2 Responses to “Pictures, the Talking Kind: July.”

  1. gorjus said:

    I’m no fan of Chinatown, but I love it because I saw it for the first time at the Alabama, in my favorite seat (right on the edge of the first balcony, stage right), and the ending–gasp!! I was floored.

    And: “flaaa.” Hilarious.

  2. mix said:

    After I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I cried for a good twenty minutes because I was so happy, and sad, and happy! And sad and happy! I want to write “and sad and happy” about fifty more times, but I will spare you.

    Once, I was watching The English Patient with my parents and sister, and my dad fast-forwarded through the huge big long flashback (maybe?I don’t know because he fast-forwarded through it!) scene where she’s in the tub, and then he ended up turning the movie off because of all of the boobs and language. Yay my weird family!