There is a lot that I’d like to write about at the moment, but this either isn’t the space for it or it’s not fully baked yet. I took a photo of myself earlier and posted it on Instagram. Even though there is a bunch of manipulation on it, it feels like one of the more honest photos I’ve posted lately. I would like to talk about the light that illuminates that photo, the door behind me, the tile I was standing on. The games being played about an hour earlier and the feeling of a countdown going on in my head with every action.
I guess I wrote about it just a little bit.
The dramatically indulgent lazy side of me wishes to ensconce myself on a couch for a few days (weeks?) and completely immerse myself in French New Wave movies, with my buddies Truffaut and Godard and especially the Antoine Doinel series and my French New Wave crush Jean-Pierre Léaud. I would take up smoking, Gitanes, of course, just for effect, and drink many pots of coffee. The truth is that I will look longingly at the Criterion Collection website and continue to not smoke. I will drink the coffee, though.
“I see life as very hard; I believe one should have a very simple, very crude and very strong moral system… This is why there can’t be any direct violence in my films. Already in The 400 Blows, Antoine is a child who never rebels openly. His moral system is more subtle than that. Like me, Antoine is against violence because it signifies confrontation. Violence is replaced by escape, not escape from what is essential, but escape in order to achieve the essential.”
— François Truffaut
I feel like I made a list of my essential films awhile back, but I can’t figure out where that ended up. I’m in no way a film snob, despite my New Wave rambling above. Here are a few, off the top of my head, and their resonance with me:
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
I’ve already talked about this one at length in here. I love that movie.
- Star Wars
It feels cliche to say Star Wars is one of your favorite movies. I used to be a big Star Wars nerd and I even demonstrated fairly recently that I still have a chunk of my brain filled with useless knowledge. But, as I’ve also done with much of my music appreciation, I’ve cut myself off from fandoms. It ruins things so much. I just want space movies with heart and action and mythology, is that so wrong?
Futuristic film noir sci-fi New Wave pulp with an evil computer!
- Barefoot in the Park
I love this movie. I love Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and their little apartment. Mildred Natwick is phenomenally funny. This movie is like a warm blanket for me.
- Say Anything / High Fidelity
I’m grouping these two John Cusack movies into one bullet point because they serve similar purposes. We all want a Lloyd Dobler and we all realize that it’s likely that a Lloyd Dobler will become a Rob Gordon. And some of us also realize that we are lady versions of Lloyd/Rob, but also relate quite a bit to Diane Court/Laura. And now I’m looking up scenes from both…
- Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
This is another warm blanket movie for me. Maureen O’Hara is the best and I could say a lot more about this movie, but that’s a story for another time, I think.
- Bunny Lake is Missing / David and Lisa
Keir Dullea makes it into my list three times and these two go together in my head. Both and quirky and thoughtful and beautifully composed. Bunny Lake is so odd with the cast and the weird Zombies inclusion and yay Saul Bass titles!
- What About Bob?
If Richard Dreyfuss yelling at Bill Murray to get out of the car and Bill Murray asking if the corn is hand-shucked aren’t two of the most classic scenes in American cinema, I will eat my hat.
- Waiting for Guffman
I love everything that Christopher Guest does and this is just tops. I will always remember watching this with improv buddies in my dorm room and having to pause it multiple times while Doug collected himself from laughing.
- An American in Paris
I got on a Gene Kelly kick (my number one #deadboyfriend) awhile back and although Singin’ in the Rain is superb, if I had to choose one movie of his, it would be this. The dance around the fountain during the ballet just kills me. And this.
On that note, and having left a few notable movies off that list, it’s time for bed…