' ' Cinema Romantico: 30 Reasons Why I Love Movies

Friday, August 31, 2007

30 Reasons Why I Love Movies

So, it's here. Monday September 3 is my birthday. It's my.........woah, my fingers are failing me. They don't want to type it anymore than I do. Let me try again.

Monday is my (immense gulp) 30th birthday. It's happening. I can't stop it. The events were set in motion, well, 30 years ago.

Part of me, of course, feels like hiding. Where? I don't know. I couldn't tell you anyway since, you know, I'd be hidden. But I won't hide. No, I won't. I'll meet this head-on with grace and dignity and a few (probably more) pints and some Springsteen (yes, I've made a special Turning-30-Springsteen-Mix) and some Arcade Fire and if not all of "Million Dollar Baby" then at least Maggie Fitzgerald's impassioned speech on her birthday to Frankie Dunn.

Oh yes, movies. Perhaps they weren't quite as important to me the day I entered our lovely little world but that importance increased with my age. I actually don't remember the very first movie I saw. I think "E.T." is the first one I remember watching in the theater although my mom tells the story of watching "Snow White" in the theater and me jumping into her lap the moment the evil stepmother appeared (see, already as a teeny-tiny lad I was scared of women). I remember seeing "The Sword and the Stone" and being bored out of my youthful mind which, of course, signified that even then I knew crap when I saw it.

While many memories escape me, hardly any movie-going memories (even the really, really bad ones) do. But, of course, the really, really good ones are far more vivid, and special. In fact, they've been some of the most special moments of my whole life. And so on the verge of my 30th birthday, here's 30 of 'em - 30 reasons why I love the movies. And hopefully 30 years from now I can make another list just like this.

1. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez's scene at the hotel bar in "Out of Sight".

2. Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen sitting on the back porch in "Sideways" discussing why it is they love wine.

3. The first 20 minutes of "Collateral".

4. Catching the 5:30 show of a movie the night it opens at the AMC 21 on Illinois & Columbus.

5. The endless tracking shot to open "Boogie Nights".

6. Judy Garland's closing lines in "Meet Me in St. Louis". (I won't actually type them because if you haven't seen the movie, and you want to, you should hear her say them and not just read them on one idiot's blog.)

7. The fact "Chinatown" was made when it was so it could end the way it did.

8. The zither score for "The Third Man".

9. "This is my adopted daughter, Margot Tennenbaum." - The Royal Tennenbaums

10. When Hawkeye looks at Cora and Cora says, "What are you looking at, sir?" and Hawkeye says, "Why I'm looking at you, miss."

11. In "Almost Famous" when Penny tells William she's going to Morocco for "one year" and asks him if he wants to come and he says "yes" and she says "are you sure?" and he says "ask me again" and so she does and he says "yes" again and then she says "it's all happening" and he says it back to her.

12. The Chicago International Film Festival.

13. Kate Winslet.

14. Marlon Brando asking Eva Marie Saint if she'd like to get a beer with him in "On the Waterfront."

15. Johnny Depp in the FIRST "Pirates of the Caribbean". (Puh-leeze don't let the other two make you forget how wholly unexpectedly & phenomenally brilliant he was that first time around.)

16. "The only second chance I know is the chance to make the same mistake twice." - State and Main

17. The unbroken shot in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where we see Indy from far away and he runs right at us, right into a close-up of his eyes, and then the camera pulls back to another wide shot of him and then pans over to the square of all the baskets identical to the one holding Marion.

18. Amanda Peet's lone scene in "Changing Lanes".

19. Parker Posey's "busy-bee" freak-out in "Best in Show".

20. In "Batman Begins" when the mob boss has been tied to the Bat Signal, and Lieutenant Gordon says "cut him down", and then - accompanied by that wonderfully dramatic music - we cut to the shot of Batman standing on the building looking out over Gotham.

21. The wide shot in "The Myth of Fingerprints" of Roy Scheider walking home with his rifle and the storebought turkey.

22. The scene in the piano shop with Guy and the Girl in "Once".

23. The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York which had an exhibit wherein you could re-record dialogue to famous movie scenes which allowed me to re-record some of Humphrey Bogart's dialogue in "To Have and Have Not" meaning, of course, that I was exchanging bon mot's with Lauren Bacall. Goosebumps, man. Goosebumps.

24. "It will be a love story... for she will be my heroine for all time. And her name will be Viola." - Will, Shakespeare in Love

25. The scene in "Lost in Translation" between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson late at night on the hotel bed.

26. Quentin and Uma.

27. Rick telling Ilsa to get on the plane.

28. Alice Munro choosing to jump.

29. Mo cuishle.

30. "That's essentially how I feel about life - it's full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. " - Alvy Singer, Annie Hall


Anonymous said...

Have you even seen "Starship Troopers" sir? The entire script is one giant quote of greatness.

Or perhaps you just assumed that, so it didn't even need to be said. Yes, that must be it.

"You be a good girl, now."

-Soldier in background slowly spinning daughter in the transportation hub scene

Anonymous said...

I admit it was a tough call to leave "Starship Troopers" infamous Zygama Beach Guy scene off the list.

Others receiving votes included Arnold Schwarzenagger and Carl Weathers brief arm-wrestling match in "Predator" and Alec Baldwin admonishing Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett to "leave your god-damn hula shirts at home" in "Pearl Harbor".

Wretched Genius said...

Even though I'm usually pretty quick to cut you down and try to crush your fantasies, I was planning to avoid it this time in respect to your upcoming b-day, and also out of the empathy I feel towards a fellow movie lover.

Then you had to go and dis "The Sword and the Stone," the movie that practically raised me.

You will never see my revenge coming, Prigge. But it is coming.

Anonymous said...

"The Sword and the Stone" raised you? I had no idea! I swear! Please accept my apologies!

I was a little kid the last time I saw it and haven't seen it since. Perhaps it deserves a re-watching. I mean, I probably would have liked Michael Bay movies at that age.

Then again......

Anonymous said...

Rory's having been raised by "The Sword and the Stone" makes a lot of sense. It especially helps explain Rory's kindness towards poor young fops, his attempts at removing weapons from boulders, and his crude animation.

Rory Larry said...

um...a note of clarification, the movieidiot is not nor ever has been wretched genius. Movie Idiot was raised on Red Dawn and I cannot for one determine why this little ditty of dialogue was not on your list

That hate's going to burn you up boy

Keeps me warm

-Powers Boothe and C. Thomas Howell