I have always been a big fan of movies; in fact my first memories blend in with the films that my mother recorded from the television onto VHS. “Annie”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “My Fair Lady”, I would watch them again and again and then re-enact the scenes with my Barbie dolls. My imagination was a refuge, and these films were my fuel. Following is a list of personal favorites:
“The Wizard of Oz”, My mother tells me that she could feed me a line from the film and I could go for an extended period of time acting out the various parts and scenarios. I remember being put to bed and wrapping my arms around my mother’s neck and uttered Dorothy’s parting line to the Scarecrow: “I’ll miss you most of all”. It didn’t really fit the bedtime context, but I wanted to say it, just once in my life. Was not a fan of those flying monkeys though.
“Darby O’Gill and the Little People”, The 1960 Disney film was another favorite, set in Ireland and starring a pre-James Bond Sean Connery. Connery was arguably was my first crush (or at least tied for first with Patrick Swayze in “Dirty Dancing”).
I used to dream of Sean Connery stopping traffic to ask me to marry him. (I’m eight, of course I’ll marry you!) When the latest Indiana Jones movie came out in 1989, my brother invited me to come along…that my ‘boyfriend’ would be in it. Now, as a small child who had not grasped the concept of time, imagine my surprise in seeing a near thirty year leap in my beloved’s life span. That was possibly the biggest shock of my life, and my first realization about aging. (That it happens, and it isn’t always pretty).
“The Sound of Music”, now I loved the shit out of this movie. This is another picture I could have acted out. Like “Wizard of Oz”, I knew all the songs by heart and belted them out in the backyard. Unlike “Oz”, I was totally into the “will they or won’t they” vibe of Maria and Captain Von Trapp.
In fact, I saw it again in recently, and was a little unnerved by this deja-vu feeling from yore, being a little bit bored with the Captain once marries Maria and starts getting choked up over “Edelweiss”. Much more preferable when he was dismissive and stern, bossing everyone about with that yummy whistle. (Ahem, start new list…things to discuss with future therapist). But speaking of things to discuss with a therapist…
“Labyrinth”—my first experience with a cinematic bulge. Jeez Louise, David Bowie packs quite a wallop in the penile region.
A) Few people can show up looking like this and it feel unacceptable. Personally this is a recurring stress dream, being tuck in the middle of the ocean wearing outfits that scream nautical meets Americana. Could you imagine anything more terrifying. The choppy waves, those red and white stripes…that enormous schlong and the captain’s right to, you know ‘anchor’s aweigh’.
Those poor Goblin puppets, all at crotch level, trying to avoid eye contact with “it”. And really, there is so much Bowie to look at, the dramatic makeup, the magnificent diva mullet, but your gaze would always fall like snow back to the bulge. As a child watching this film, you don’t realization that the well-endowed Goblin King was David Bowie…and that Bowie was actually someone important to popular culture and influential to music history.
This is the beauty of watching these films as an adult, recalling childish illusions and realizing the realities. (What? There were Nazis in “The Sound of Music”? Who knew?) Reconnecting with the glow of the television light, and basking in a long ago time when life was easier and stories were simpler.