Monday, June 15, 2009

Best Movie-Going Experiences

Andy and I were talking about movies, and the issue of how various factors can affect someone's appreciation of the movie. This seems so obvious, yet rarely do people like Roger Ebert say things like, "I thought I would have enjoyed Room Without a View more, but the theater restroom had rough toilet paper, thus putting me in a state of discomfiture. That, and the movie sucked."

I know I've seen movies that I should have liked more. There was The Sacrifice by Tarkovsky, which I walked out of. You see, I was caught up in March Madness at the time, so I wasn't in the right frame of mind to appreciate dripping water. I would have been fine with three or four minutes of dripping water, but forty-three minutes of dripping water was too much.

Then the subject turned to which movies Andy most enjoyed in the theater. I asked him to separate what he felt about the movie afterwards or in repeated viewings, and just try to think of the experience itself. He gave his list, but fortunately for you, dear reader, I wasn't able to give my list, for dinner was served. The frustration of an incomplete conversation led to this web log entry.

Here's my list, in order of viewings:

Silent Movie - This Mel Brooks movie was on cable television the other night, but I refused to watch it. Deep down, I know it's a crappy movie, but I want to preserve it. When I saw it in the theater, I was a young teenager with a bunch of friends -- Paul, Steve, Mark, Dave, and Lance I think -- and we were all sitting in the same row, and the laughter was infectious. I've never laughed harder during a movie. The only thing I remember about the movie was a slapstick scene with clumsy people dressed in armor. Oh, and Marcel Marceau is the only person who speaks during the movie. Get it? He's a mime.

Jaws - My parents wouldn't let me see this movie because it was too violent. When they finally relented, the buzz built up my expectations to impossible heights, yet Jaws was one of those rare movies that couldn't be overhyped.

Citizen Kane - Pretentiousness alert. Sorry, but it's true. I loved this movie so much when I saw it in the old Joseph Smith Building auditorium that I sat through the next viewing as well. I was taken in by a bunch of movies I saw for that film class at BYU -- Shane, The Story of Adele H, The General, Nanook of the North, The Best Years of Our Lives, Being There. The only movie I really didn't like at the time was The Best Years of Our Lives because it didn't have enough action for an alleged World War II movie. Now it's my favorite movie on the list. Go figure.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - I saw this movie the day before I left home to go on my mission to Peru. Fantastic thrill ride. The movie, I mean. Well, the mission was exciting too. I vomited on a family and had bricks dropped at me from tops of buildings. But the movie was even more exciting, because it had jungles and snakes.

Silence of the Lambs - While Anthony Hopkins was great as Hannibal Lecter in that movie, that other guy was just as good as Jame Gumb.

"Wait, was she a great big fat person?"

"Yeah, she was a big girl."

The Sixth Sense - This nearly forgotten movie totally sucked me in.

Titanic - No, I wasn't a 13-year-old girl when I saw this movie. The scene where the upraised stern starts sinking is one of the finest moments in cinema history, along with the horse ride through fire scene in Gone With the Wind and the shower scene in Private School.

The Hangover - I bent over with guffaws at least three times. "Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon."