Tuesday, July 26, 2005

FIVE MOVIE QUESTIONS FOR YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD BLOGGER FROM PREACHER BEEGE



I’ve been writing on this blog for about eight months now, and it’s gotten to be a real addiction. The biggest challenge that I face is making sure that what I write to feed that addiction isn’t just verbiage for verbiage’s sake, but intelligent thoughts about whatever it is I’m writing about written in an intelligent style (whatever forms that thought and style ends up taking). Honestly, I started writing this thing for an audience of one—me—as a way of flexing my muscles and creating a sense of discipline for myself regarding the craft, not simply as an online journal, and I had no reasonable expectation that anyone outside of my wife and my best friend would have any interest in reading it, and reading it regularly. But one of the unexpected bonuses of writing SLIFR has been not only developing a small but fairly regular readership, but also connecting with people who I didn’t even know existed eight months ago. It’s been a real pleasure writing back and forth with some of those people, not only on this blog, but on ones written by these new friends and others. One of those new friends, Preacher Beege, a cheerfully profane and delightful writer whose blog on motherhood and ministry could go a long way toward changing any preconceived notions you may have about being a mommy or a pastor, has posted five questions for me, which I promised I would answer on my site. So, Beege, thank you for the inquiry, and here I go:

1)Your blog is titled Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. I like it, but have no idea what in the hell it means. What in the hell does it mean?

In November of 2005, I decided to try my hand at writing a blog and wanted it to somehow combine regular passages on baseball and the Dodgers, a relatively new obsession of mine (born, ironically enough, during the players’ strike of 1994 through exposure to Ken Burns’ massive historical documentary Baseball), with my lifelong love for the movies (and writing about them). So I sought to come up with a title that adequately conveyed both interests in an appealing and eye/ear-catching way. The first title that came off the top of my head was The Good, the Bad and the Dodgers, which rather uneloquently combined the title of one of my favorite movies with the name of my favorite team. But, as I kept turning it over in my head, a couple of things began nagging at me. Is the reference to the spaghetti western classic overt enough? Perhaps too overt? And when combined with “the Dodgers,” does it sound like I’m implying that the Dodgers themselves occupy some space located between “good” and “bad”? (The land of mediocrity being one many folks have already proclaimed for this team). Finally, by using simply “the Dodgers” to represent the baseball aspect of the site, was that in some way too limiting? What if I wanted to write about other teams, other aspects of the game? Would I be violating my own protocol? And perhaps most importantly, was I overthinking this whole thing? (What are the odds, huh?)
So I scrapped that title and my wife and I began trying to think of different combinations, and the best one we came up with was the title of the blog as it is today—Sergio Leone being one of my favorite directors (the man who directed The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and “the infield fly rule,” a not-so-direct reference to baseball that sounded good combined with “Sergio Leone.” (FYI, the infield rule is the one that states that a batter who hits an infield fly, as called by the umpire, is automatically out if there are less than two outs and runners are on first and second base, or the bases are loaded. It serves to prevent an infielder from dropping the ball on purpose to create a double play.)

2) What was the best movie you've ever seen, and what made it the best? Was it the company, the location, the movie itself, some aspect of the film's production, the smell of stale popcorn in the air, or the way your feet stuck to the floor?

I like the way your question evokes the atmosphere of the movie theater, which is, I think, always been an underrated, or overlooked, aspect of film appreciation. There’s a whole article to be written (and God knows, I’m feeling logorrheic enough these days to give it a shot) about the best movie theaters of my moviegoing life, and the attendant smells, the feel of the wrecked-up seats, the sense that you get from a single-screen palace, one you don’t get in a stadium-seat multiplex (at least in the same way), of something special, almost mystical in the making. One of my most vivid memories of seeing movies when I was a kid was the stark terror I would be thrown into every time the lights would start to go down and the projectionist started the cartoon before the curtain opened. The Warner Brothers logo would be thrown onto that flowing, tattered red velvet, which gave the image a surreal, unstable, sinister quality and made me think, in my twisted child’s imagination, that something terrible and wonderful was about to be unleashed, that the curtains would draw back and Porky Pig would come raging off the screen and, I don’t know, stutter at me real loud until I went mad or something. It’s an indelible memory of seeing movies as a kid and being overwhelmed by the oversized grandeur that even our run-down old hometown movie house could lend to everything from The Greatest Story Ever Told to the cheesy blue-screen dynamism of the Elvis Presley race-car musical Speedway. How could I not end up a film freak?

That said, I don’t know if I could ever say what the best movie I’ve ever seen actually is. One of the great things about movies is that, despite their being set in celluloid for all time (if we’re lucky), they are remarkably fluid objets d’art. That is, our responses to them are. The degrees to which those responses can vary because of the circumstances of the viewing (was the AC in the theater functioning properly?), the viewer’s mood going in, or the simple passage of time that allows a viewer the necessary experience to be open to a movie that was closed down to them before, can make a single movie seem like a completely different entity depending on any or all of those conditions. Such fluidity makes absolutism in qualifying bests in cinema (or in any art form) a squirrely proposition at best, which is why year-end best lists or all-Time 100 lists should be taken with a grain of salt and a spirit of fun, and not as some inroad to true film scholarship or appreciation.

I can tell you about my experience with the movie I’ve considered my personal favorite since about 1981, however. I was probably not yet 16 years old when I first saw Robert Altman’s Nashville at my hometown theater in Lakeview, Oregon, and my friends and I couldn’t have hated it more. It was everything that we didn’t want from a movie—we found its rambling structure maddening and its attempts to simulate the textures of life pointless. Why would anyone want to see a scene of Ronee Blakely cutting her toenails, or of Keith Carradine disaffectedly bedding woman after woman with no dramatic payoff? And of course a 16-year-old kid from a one-horse town in Southeastern Oregon is probably not going to have too much to bring to Altman’s party anyway (I disccovered later that you do have to bring something)—my friends and I were flush from the thrills of Jaws and were still pretty sure that if Forrest J. Ackerman didn’t talk about a movie within the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, why, then it just wasn’t worth discussing.



But back then, in the days before VCRs, revival theaters were still in full swing, and seeing old and new films on the University of Oregon campus was no difficult task—Eugene had one dedicated revival theater, two or three art houses and several campus organization-sponsored screenings every weekend. So, my voracious viewing habits being turned loose on a new and fertile environment, I saw as much as my brain (and my feeble checking account) would permit me to see, and eventually my best friend Bruce encouraged me to go check out Nashville with him. In that tiny little revival house (50 seats at the most) on the third floor of a tiny shopping atrium, I saw Nashville for the second time, and the auditorium was small enough that I’m sure others in attendance could hear something in my brain go “click.” All of the sudden I could understand that there was something going on here that was worth digging into, that it wasn’t just random fly-on-the-wall filmmaking, that there was a design, a purpose, an intelligence (both political and artistic) dwelling within its frames. That screening was as much of a cinematic revelation to me as any I ever had in my college days, and it spurred me on to investigate Altman’s films further.



Of course, in the course of the following year, this director, who inspired much eye-rolling on my part, especially when fellow film students would insist on referring to something as “Altmanesque,” became one of my favorites as well. So much so that by the time my senior year rolled around and the head of the film department offered a comprehensive semester on Altman, somehow, around halfway though the course, my mania for the director had gotten back to my professor, who ended up dubbing me some sort of Altman expert, a point of view bolstered by his enthusiasm for my papers on the subject of the films, and a distinction I wore proudly. (If only he knew how much I disdained Altman a mere two years previous!) When the class got around to Nashville, I made sure I saw all three screenings available to the students on the day it was presented—7:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and the main screening for the whole class at 7:00 p.m. I’d never before, and have never since, seen one movie three times in one day, particularly one as dense and detailed as Nashville, and by the time I got home that night I was exhausted, but buzzing with all the connections that were firing in my head as a result. Needless to say, I got a very good grade that semester.

I’ve seen the movie probably another 10 or so times since then, and it remains, depending on what day you catch me, either at the top, or within the top two or three, on my favorites list. And when the Nashville DVD was finally released in the year 2000, it was a special day for me not only because I could finally have a widescreen copy of the movie in my library, but also because I created the closed-caption and the English-language subtitles for that DVD. Doing that job was a mixture of pure pleasure and agony for me, because the film’s much-noted multi-layered dialogue soundtrack made discerning what dialogue was important and following a through-line that could make sense to deaf viewers, as well as those who wanted to partake in the option of following the dialogue in English in order to better catch important lines that were casually tossed into the mix, a particular challenge. But I lobbied for the job when the project came through our office and ended up doing the entire two and a half-hour movie by myself. It was a grueling, thrilling assignment to view the movie again in probably more detail than I ever had before. It was also especially gratifying when the subtitles were actually mentioned in Premiere magazine’s review of the DVD, which said that one of the best reasons to buy the DVD were the subtitles, which cast a new light and clarity on Altman’s famous overlapping dialogue.


3) Are you drawn to more big-budget studio films, or do you prefer the smaller independent films?

As Bill Murray said in that quintessential independent film from 1979, it just doesn’t matter. I’m drawn to films, whatever their size, budget or point of origin. A fair portion of the worst movies ever made are cynical Hollywood blockbusters and high-gloss Oscar bait, but, at the same time, I don’t think anyone could convince me that Jaws isn’t among the very best thrillers ever made, and you can’t get much more Hollywood blockbuster than that. Nor could you get away with describing Jaws as cynical, even though it was financed and made by a Hollywood studio that, at the time of its production, wasn’t exactly renowned for its commitment to the art of cinema.

On the other hand, the American independent film movement has not exactly panned out as a pure phenomenon sparked solely by creativity. While independent film has produced some significant works in the past 20 years, like Do the Right Thing, Reservoir Dogs, Fargo and Down by Law (and movies I think far more highly of, such as The Big Lebowski, Donnie Darko, 25th Hour and Jackie Brown), it has also given birth to its own set of cliches. These usually involve overly moist coming-of-age stories (see the career of Sundance Film Festival prize-winner Edward Burns) or stories of familial reconciliation garnished with hipster signifiers and ungainly quirkiness (Pieces of April, et al.), endless cannibalization of what has come before (including, but not limited to, excessive bowing at the altar of Quentin Tarantino, quite the fine young cannibal himself), fatal self-awareness (see the career of self-made Sundance legend Robert Rodriguez) and the birth of the Miramax monster.

If Sundance ever stood for the opportunity for a filmmaker’s self-expression, it stands twice as much now simply as a high profile event at which Young Hollywood falls all over itself to be seen, as well as for that old standard, a springboard to a high-paying career in which nine out of 10 “winners” subsume whatever unique voice they and their work had in the beginning in order to get the chance to work in Hollywood and churn out the same kind of crap they ostensibly were resisting by participating in Sundance in the first place. And judging by a large percentage of recent Sundance offerings, the independent sensibility and the Hollywood sensibility aren’t that far removed from each other anymore anyway.

The best movies I’ve seen so far this year have been a three-hour documentary shot on video and comprised entirely of a narrator speaking over movie clips dubbed off of VHS tapes of highly varying quality, a thrillingly elastic action comedy that serves as a raucous Cuisinart-style summing-up of a popular genre, another low-budget video documentary that has a lot to say about greed and self-interest in American sports and pop culture. Yet the mainstream comedy Wedding Crashers and the none-too-inexpensive Batman Begins are both likely to be near the top of my list too, come end of the year. I don’t see how I could take film and film appreciation seriously and not have interests that were all over the map. Imagine learning to read and then deciding to limit yourself to Barbara Cartland novels, or Tolstoy, or Emeril Lagasse cookbooks, or Betty and Veronica; imagine honing your craft as an fisherman and throwing back everything that wasn’t a 30-pound steelhead. Pauline Kael once wrote that a varied background of interests served seeing, really seeing films well, because that varied background inevitably reflected and informed the very nature of film itself as a conglomeration and intensification of all the popular arts—literature, performance, painting, photography, even journalism. So I cherish the fact that as I get older my fields of interest in film, writing, sports, seem to be expanding, both forward toward the new (lots of Asian and Middle Eastern cinema that I have yet to really plow into) and back into the past (Turner Classic Movies on cable TV, and the Criterion Collection and Warner Home Video DVD box sets from their classics library have been a constantly renewing film school and have helped me fill in a lot of the holes in my ever-evolving film education).

4) Oscars: good judge of Hollywood's talent, or just a night to sit and make fun of people's clothes?

Every year at my house a small group of friends get together to follow the Academy Awards and tabulate the office Oscar pool, which I coordinate. After 18 years of getting this contest together, I finally won it myself last year, a sweet victory for me in a rare year when my own pick for best picture of the year, Million Dollar Baby, happily coincided with Oscar’s. But the Academy’s track record as an indicator of good taste and lasting quality in films and performances is pretty shoddy—not too many film buffs, critics, or everyday viewers will tell you that they hold up films like Gandhi, Braveheart or Ordinary People as enduring classics or even movies that have the power to remain close to their hearts. However, some of the movies those titles bested for the Oscar crown—Steven Spielberg’s E.T.- The Extra-terrestrial, George Miller’s transcendent Babe, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (a movie I’m not exactly in love with) and David Lynch’s powerful adaptation of The Elephant Man-- are exactly the kinds of films that audiences and critics have turned into classics.

The Oscars, no matter how much they scream and shout otherwise, are a popular election, and as we’ve seen in recent years popular elections are no guarantor that the quality will rise to the top. Actors and directors routinely win awards for political reasons, or because they’ve amassed a body of work that truly was award-worthy and the voting body, to make up for lost opportunities, eventually coalesces and awards them for late-career performances (see Paul Newman and Al Pacino) that aren’t a sliver as good as the good stuff. And the Academy doesn’t even release the numbers on the actual voting, so it’s entirely possible that Sir Richard Attenborough’s terrifically dull biography of the great advocate of nonviolent resistance could have won the award for Best Picture because one more vote was cast for facile consciousness-raising rather than support for a universally admired, and hugely popular, sentimental science fiction story about a little lost alien and the boy who finds him. At least we know that it really only takes about 30% of eligible voters in this country to elect a president.

There’s so much wrong with thinking about Oscar as an arbiter of taste that it’s embarrassing on those not-so-rare occasions when I find myself getting caught up in the drama and suspense and the righteous indignation over a favorite movie’s losses. Oscar night is loads of fun, though, as a people-watching exercise, and the past two years have highlighted some stunning appearances by Kate Winslet, Sophie Okonedo, Sandra Oh and Shoreh Aghdashloo that have kept the males at our party riveted. And it’s also fascinating to listen to Joan Rivers botch simple facts about the people she’s interviewing on the red carpet, and sometimes even admit that she has no idea who they are or what they’re there for. These are the sideshows that make Oscar night as much of a rich tradition in my house as anything else. But I don’t take Oscar’s word for anything when it comes to whether or not a movie is really any good.

5) When you are feeling just all depleted and wiped out, where do you go to renew and refresh and recreate yourself?

I feel depleted and wiped out a lot these days— being a working husband and father of two daughters, ages five and three, has taxed my energies, physical, creative and emphathetic, in ways that I find amazing with the passing of each new day. But therein also lies my renewal. I’ve been really running myself out on a very thin string over the last few months, especially as I try to take advantage of the creative spark this blog has provided and keep up on the heavy workload at the place where I actually get paid to type. So keeping myself fresh and alive and engaged for my girls (all three of them) is a very important goal for me. And my oldest, once very Daddy-centric, has in the past year or so shifted very emphatically to the Mom side of the equation, a development that has affected me more than I ever thought it would. So it really surprised me when the five-year-old asked if she could go grocery shopping with me this past Saturday. Of course I said yes, and for two hours we roamed the aisles, laughed, talked in ways that I’ve always dreamed of talking with a child of mine, and she gladly helped me in any way she could, pulling items off the shelves and putting them in our cart, and offering helpful suggestions regarding potential purchases (most of which she was very understanding about when I politely declined). I realized about halfway through our chore that I was having the most unexpected good time with her at Vons, of all places, and I was so impressed with how helpful she was being that I finally just stopped the cart, picked her up in my arms and told her very sincerely how I’d always wanted to be able to speak to my child and know that she was really hearing me, that she had something to offer in return, and that she really wanted to be with me. There I was, in the frozen pizza aisle, getting all blubbery with my beautiful daughter, and all of the sudden I felt that rush of renewal, of energy that I could be turned right back around and given to her and her sister in ways which I might not even be aware. I finally collected myself and we resumed our shopping. And as we rounded the corner and headed toward Dairy, my little girl walked up beside me, casually put her arm around my waist and continued walking, silently taking in the bounty of cottage cheese and eggs and 2% milk. If there could ever be a claim for heaven in a supermarket, I found it that day. That’s the best kind of rejuvenation for me, knowing that I’m doing the best I can and that somehow it seems to be working for those I love the most.

On perhaps a more superficial level, I find that arriving a couple hours early for an evening baseball game at Dodger Stadium and just drinking in the atmosphere does wonders for my spirit. (It doesn’t hurt if the Dodgers win either). I commented earlier this season to a friend who was with me at one such game that I felt, at moments like this, Dodger Stadium was maybe the best place on Earth. He laughed, but I wasn’t kidding.

And I can always find the comfort, challenge and stimulation, both intellectual and emotional, that I need by watching a really good movie, either in a theater or, more frequently these days, on DVD. Movies, sometimes even ones that aren’t necessarily all that good, can be transportive for me in ways that are clear and obvious, but also sometimes intangible and difficult to articulate. There is still mystery in them to me, and navigating within the mystery, and excitement and wonder, and frustration and contradictory emotions, of those images and sounds all butted up together in fascinating and often revealing ways is a way of relaxing and “shutting down” for me that, if all works well, really isn’t shutting down at all. It’s a form of reengaging when I might feel like doing the exact opposite. I feel lucky that movies can do that for me.

***********************************************************************

Beege, thanks for the great questions. I’m so sorry for not being concise and economical in my answers, but that’s usually not my style anyway, as much as some have suggested that it should be. I only hope that I didn’t drive you or anyone else to boredom, or distraction, or to a video game or a porn site, anything that’s more interesting than listening to me blather on, and I thank you for the opportunity to engage the subjects and, in the process, find something worth writing about. Here’s another question for you, a movie question for the self–confessed Entertainment Weekly subscriber (I am too, and I’m not too happy about it— but that’s another longwinded story):

What have you seen lately? Anything really good?

12 comments:

beege said...

No. The last thing I managed to see was "Sith", and I only went to that because I love my geek husband beyond all reason (same reason I went to any of Episodes 1-3)and because my MIL was salivating over time alone with Linnea. And while I DID find it to be better than the first two, it was still episode 3, you know?

We live about an hour away from the nearest decent movie theater, so by the time you factor in travel, length of movie, getting a bite to eat, etc. an evening away becomes a major event that needs to blast off by about 4 in the afternoon...which is impractical for us and for our childcaregivers.

So since the advent of Linnea, I've been woefully lacking in moviegoing experiences. The nearest decent rental place is also about an hour away...so we have HBO, which means I see things about a zillion years after they've meant anything.

zoe xx said...

Dennis - "not concise or economical" - heh heh heh.

Good answers - lovely to read the opinions of someone with a real passion for something. Hurrah for our lovely Sophie and Kate!

Benaiah said...

I wondered into this blog off of Dodger Thoughts (the Dodger website for my money) but I come here everyday now. I really like that you manage to be both extremely knowledgable and able to watch and enjoy all types of movies (including ones that will never garner praise in Oscar circles).

By the way, I have only ever seen one Altman movie, 3 Women, and I have to say I didn't like it that much. The movie was kind of boring throughout (and I despise Shelley Duvall, not just in this movie but in every movie. Eat a sandwhich lady!) but the ending was just mindboggling. I could kind of come up with a theory about what it meant, but it just didn't seem like it made sense. So I watch the commentary with Altman himself and he says at one point that he doesn't think that telling a story is important and that his favorite compliment is "I didn't understand it but I liked it". So I just gave up since I didn't understand it and I didn't like it.

blaaagh said...

Benaiah, bravo (brava?) to you for even bothering to watch "3 Women," which I think is more than most people would do; it's funny you should mention it, since I had just been thinking about how Dennis and I saw it together in Eugene upon its original release, and as I remember we were both very excited about it, and surprised to find ourselves excited...we kept talking and talking about it on the way home and when we went to some joint (Denny's? IHOP?) for food and the coffee I existed on all during college. Dennis, I can't believe I was the one who urged you to go see "Nashville" with me, though I guess I also feel proud if it was. I do remember sitting there watching it and feeling a thousand confused and conflicting ways, often laughing and feeling sad or annoyed at the same time.

This has got to be one of the essays I've liked the best on your blog. Thanks for taking the time to dig deep and write so eloquently about yourself and your appreciation of movies (and of lots of other things). I particularly like the image of the Warner Bros. logo on the red curtains before they part: magic! I have a memory of my sister Maureen and I watching "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" on the giant screen at the Paramount in Portland, and the majestic drapes closing over the preposterous final image of the ape baby as it says over and over (the same bit of film repeated over and over and dubbed): "Mama...mama...mama." Even then, my sister and I thought it was hilariously absurd. But the Paramount treated it with the same grave pageantry it did every film they showed.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Benaiah: I really appreciate your words about why you've made this blog a regular stop. As I said, I never expected this enterprise to have much appeal outside my immediate circle, so it has been gratifying to know that it works for others without me trying to tailor it into being something that doesn't feel natural to me. Sorry about your Altman experience, though. First, Kagemusha, and now Three Women! While I echo Blaaagh's sentiment that just watching Three Women is more than most would be willing to do these days, I would have suggested a less radical, elliptical place to start your Altman adventure. I recommend M*A*S*H or California Split or Thieves Like Us or, dare I say, Nashville. As for Shelley Duvall, personally I find her really charming and oddly lovely, and for a long time I thought of her as my favorite actress, largely on the strength of her portrayals of Olive Oil in Altman's Popeye and Millie in Three Women. But if you see Thieves you'll see a shot of her bare back that will confirm every impulse you have to send her the entire left side of the Denny's menu.

Blaaagh: "Grave paegantry." Phrases like this are just a sliver, but still an important part of why I'm so glad you're my best friend, as well as a faithful SLIFR reader. And your reaction to Nashville is the same one I've had to it for years, and that's part of why it remains such an important and exciting movie for me. (After last night's screening of Once Upon a Time in the West, however, it's time to acknowledge just how close to the top this fever dream masterpiece has floated-- the combination of Leone and Cardinale and Bronson and Morricone and Robards and Fonda and Bertolucci and Argento is definitely now a number-one contender.) Do you remember seeing Three Women on a double feature with Next Stop, Greenwich Village at the McDonald in Eugene, and in between films being tracked down by the local casting director for Animal House to inform us of a last-minute call to the set the next day? To this day, I have never figured out how she figured out where we were.

Murray said...

Where else would you and Bruce could have been? The drive in would have been the first place I would have looked if you were not at home and it was after dark.

Benaiah said...

Geez I have all the luck with picking movies huh. I just grabbed the first Altman that showed up in my library DVD collection. I will give M*A*S*H a try. Shelly Duvall is amusing sometimes, but i have trouble looking at her and my first expierence with her is still my general impression of her (Annie Hall, "I saw Bob Dylan in concert..." I love that Woody hates her in the movie, but he sleeps with her anyway. So true to real life, but I digress).

I have been running through the pantheon of great Westerns this summer (The Good, the bad and the ugly, High Noon, Butch Cassidy) but tonight I watched by far my favorite (and I loved all of those) in The Wild Bunch. I know you don't like the violence in the boy genius's movies, but I found this movie amazingly compelling. The characters were so well developed, the plot was straight foreward but never boring and the filming was top notch. It confirmed for me your statement about how adaptable the Western is (if only one successful Western was made I am sure Hollywood would jump back in with both feet in its usual reactionary way).

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I just finished a long post and I gotta go to bed, but I wanted to check in before I do. I love The Wild Bunch too. On the list of great westerns it would definitely be in my top three somewhere (I smell another article brewing...) I need to see it again soon. But I just saw Once Upon a Time in the West in a theater again last night-- what a truly spectacular movie. If you haven't seen that one, well, I can't say enough good things about it. It not only would be in my top three westerns, I think it's settling in near the top spot of my absolute favorites. Good night!

blaaagh said...

Dennis--sorry to have been so silent lately (or maybe I should say "Hope you enjoyed the break from my ramblings")--but I've had my mom here all week, as you know. Anyway, right on, Murray! Where else would we be, indeed, but at some movie?...Anyway, I do remember that night well, though I didn't remember which movie we were watching, and I had remembered Katherine interrupting us DURING the movie to ask if we could work on "Animal House" the next day. My understanding is that she had called the dorm, gotten ahold of your roommate Dan, and he'd tipped her off as to which movie we'd gone to...but it was so long ago, that could have been just the story I pieced together in my mind. Certainly it was very surprising (not to say terrifying) to have her pop up in the row behind us and breathe down our necks with that incessant grin of hers, whispering triumphantly, "I FOUND YOU GUYS!" Bless her heart...I remember missing her call on a Sunday night at the dorm because we were out having dinner and probably seeing some cheap movie, and because I missed it I did not work on Monday when they shot all the publicity photos, including the one used in one of the original posters. My mom said every time she passed a theater showing it on its original release and saw that poster, she'd feel bad that I wasn't in the picture...as I remember, you suffered the same fate, non?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Si, si. I'm weeping fresh tears and grinding my teeth in frustration just thinking about it again! I hope you're having a good time with your mom. I'm here at work blowing like a hurricane through a BBC mini-series of Little Lord Fauntleroy and wishing I was anywhere else, but particularly going to a movie with you. We went back out to the Mission Tiki last night for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-- that place is sure to become a regular stop. When you come down for Halloween (notice I said WHEN), we WILL go there. They even had a poster up already for Saw II. You can see what it looks like at http://www.saw2.com/, if you dare!

Anonymous said...

Urgggh! Those chopped-off fingers...yech. OK, I'm ready, let's go see it. My mom's moved on to my sister's house to visit as of last night, and we emerged from the week with few battle scars...so now I'm about to bring up the topic of our Halloween visit. Early prediction: it will happen. I'm knocking wood, though, since it can't hurt.

blaaagh said...

Oh--er, that last comment was from me, in case you hadn't already figured it out.