' ' Cinema Romantico: Cinema Romantico's Ultimate Hypothetical Movie Oral History

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cinema Romantico's Ultimate Hypothetical Movie Oral History

There has been a rash of movie oral histories the last few years. On one hand, I understand this, it’s a neat pitch to your editor, writing something like a mini tell-all about a movie with a relevant anniversary or that has recently returned to the discourse. But an oral history suggests a study of a movie paramount to the culture and the majority of movie oral histories these days……I dunno, man. Do we need an oral history for “Mighty Ducks”? “She’s All That”? I think the movie oral history might have finally jumped the shark when I clicked over to The Ringer the other day and found an oral history of “The Town.” “’The Town?’” I thought. “We need an oral history of ‘The Town?’” “The Town” is, like, fine, just fine, but an oral history? C’mon, man.

I know why there is an oral history of “The Town” on The Ringer, of course. The site’s founder is one of Boston’s most famous sons. If it’s your site, you get to commission whatever oral history you want. And that, as it had to, got me to thinking (instead of reading the oral history of “The Town”). Because if Cinema Romantico were to commission an oral history, what oral history would it be?

An oral history of… The Paperboy. I have so many questions for Nicole Kidman. In fact, if the writer (me) gave the rough draft of the oral history to the chief editor (me), the chief editor would probably say, “Wait, this isn’t an oral history. This is an interview with Nicole Kidman. Why are there so many questions about ‘Australia?’ Why are there even more questions about ‘Malice?’”

An oral history of… Elizabethtown. It is not so much that Cameron Crowe’s, shall we say, less than lauded romantic comedy possessed a semi-troubled production history and an unexpected pop culture afterlife that would render it perfect for an oral history as it is Cinema Romantico, an avowed “Elizabethtown” stan, being the only blog in the stars willing to take on this task.

An oral history of… Cocktail. Coughlin’s Law: the clearest truth lies at the bottom of the glass.

An oral history of... L.A. Story. Honoring the film’s coffee ordering scene, an entire oral history done in the space of 20 seconds.

An oral history of... Ocean’s Twelve. The film’s own loopy artiness examining artifice and performance feels like the perfect vessel for satirizing the oral history. Then again, I don’t want my send up of the genre to be quite so conspicuous. Which is why I might also consider...

An oral history of… The Fugitive. If only because this movie had arguably Hollywood’s two most irascible leads as its stars who would probably grunt off participating meaning that the entire oral history of “The Fugitive” would be left to Joe Pantoliano and Julianne Moore and Jeroen Krabbé and Richard Riehle and Tom Wood.  

An oral history of… Serendipity. Like “Elizabethtown”, which we love as equally, if not as equally questionably, as this unremembered not holiday classic, we would treat a “Serendipity” oral history seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it would be less revealing, never mind interesting, than just kind of confounding, a series of interview subjects – Cusack, Beckinsale, Leo Fitzpatrick as the heroic leasing temp – expressing palpable confusion as to why this movie has an oral history in the first place.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great post, with extra credit points awarded for mentioning "Malice."