Sunday, June 27, 2010

Film exposure

One piece of advice I always give to expectant parents is that they should go to the movies. A lot. Because once baby comes into your life, going to see grownup movies in the movie theater is a very rare occurrence for several years. You end up seeing lots of Disney and Pixar movies, I sat through ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS (my husband refused, he can't stand the voices), and when my daughter got older I was relegated to sitting alone while she and her friend sat together on the other side of the theater to see 17 AGAIN. I felt like a total loser: a middle aged woman alone watching a Zac Ephron film.

Now that my daughter has hit her teens, we still aren't going to the movies all that much but we've decided she needs to be exposed to some classics, movies made in a time when you didn't really have to worry about ratings too much. (Also, I remember a teenager saying at one point she would never watch a black and white movie, something I never want to hear my daughter say.)

To my husband's delight, she loves the Marx Brothers. So much so that she's downloaded one of their songs into her iPod. Don't ask me what it is, I'm not a Marx Brothers fan, except for the I Love Lucy episode with Harpo. She loves musicals, especially Fred Astaire films. One of our favorite holiday movies is HOLIDAY INN with Astaire and Bing Crosby. (And even though it's not an old movie, one of her absolute favorites is BRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a Bollywood film based on the Jane Austen book with lots of fabulous colors and musical numbers.)

We're also thrilled that she enjoys film noir and Hitchcock films. Her first was NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and she was riveted. We've also watched TO CATCH A THIEF and DIAL M FOR MURDER. One night we caught LAURA on one of our movie channels, and she loved it, and not long thereafter we rented REBECCA.

I have never read REBECCA, but after watching it for the umpteenth time and seeing my daughter mesmerized by it for the first time, I decided to finally pick up the book. It's in my summer reading pile, and I'm hoping she'll want to read it with me. My favorite character is by far Mrs. Danvers, who is one of the creepiest women villians of all time:

What's your favorite classic movie?


Anonymous said...

Chelsey and I are hardcore movie buffs--well, me more so than she, but I can usually convince her to come along, if not for the allure of the movie then for the temptation of the snacks! (Though I feel no shame in going solo--and have done so on many occasions--and at half the cost!) But all of my friends with children tell me similar stories to what you have mentioned--that they have seen nothing but animated movies since baby came along. Yikes! I don't know about you, but I need my fix of blood and gore. Anyway, I will admit to having little interest in the classics, whether it be movies or books. (My idea of a classic film? Halloween, which came out in 1978.) Maybe I need somebody like you to to encourage the broadening of my horizons. Though Chelsey has tried, she has failed miserably...


Anonymous said...

His Girl Friday, Born Yesterday, It Happened One Night. Jennifer Crusie and Lucy March (aka Lani Diane Rich) are deconstructing classic romcoms every Friday night over on The Popcorn Dialogs:

Susan Frank said...

When my daughter was growing up I got her hooked on musicals. She is as big a fan as I am now. Holiday Inn and White CHristmas are two of our favorites, along with 1776, My Fair Lady, Calamity Jane ... too many to name!

She worked at Borders for awhile and used to amaze older folks who would come in looking for a dvd of a musical. She would take them right to it, without having to look in the computer to see where it was located. They couldn't believe that a 20 year old not only knew where it was and what it was about, but could talk about others that were her favorites.

I have to say that she is probably my best friend. When she and I would take car trips together we would listen to music that we both could enjoy. Not just soundtracks, but if she told me "Listen to this, I think you'll like it" I usually did. Thanks to her, I was exposed to groups I never would have thought of - B*witched, Hoku (daughter of Don Ho), Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys (Celtic rock), and she learned to like Abba, John Denver, and oldies.

I also got her hooked on romances, giving her her first Nora Roberts (Three Sisters Island trilogy) when she was 16. Blew her friends away when they'd ask her if her mom knew she was reading "that stuff". SHe'd say "Who do you think gave it to me?" Now we trade books back and forth all the time;-)

Karen Olson said...

John, you would love some of these movies, since I know what kinds of books you read. Give it another try.

Holly, we, too, love IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. Have you tried any Preston Sturges movies? My favorite is THE PALM BEACH STORY. Hilarious!!!

Susan, it sounds like you and your daughter have an amazing relationship, the kind we all aspire to! It's wonderful that you're both inspiring each other with movies, books and music.

Anonymous said...

#1: To Kill a Mockingbird! (Sorry about the exclamation point, Karen.) Besides its being an excellent movie, it is as close to the book as any movie I've seen.

2. Citizen Kane, one of the all-time greats.

3. And some sappy, perhaps, Christmas movies: The original Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas in Connecticut, and--of course--It's a Wonderful Life. Oh, and "A Christmas Story." It stays funny.

Eleanor Kohlsaat said...

I loved Rebecca, the book much more than the movie. I'm not a huge classic movie fan, but I'll drop everything to watch Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, It's a Wonderful Life, and of course, The Wizard of Oz.

Chris Rhatigan said...

I'm a big Hitchcock person, too. My personal favorite is Vertigo, though Rear Window has got to be up there as well.

And a really random, kind of cheesy Charlton Heston film about Michelangelo called The Agony and The Ecstasy is another winner.

AnswerGirl said...

I can't believe you haven't read REBECCA! I used to reread it every year, but my daughter swiped my copy a couple of years ago, and I haven't gotten around to replacing it.

My favorite classic movie has to be "All About Eve," which I didn't see until well into adulthood, followed closely by "Sunset Boulevard." "Laura" is great, too.

Jani said...

To Kill a Mockingbird, Inherit the Wind, Philadelphia Story, the Thin Man series...I could go on and on.

By coincidence, Karen, I am re-reading Rebecca this summer! I first read it when I was about your daughter's age and fell in love with Du Maurier. In fact, I have collected tons of old Du Maurier books at old bookshops and tag sales over the years. I am addicted!