Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another Funny Moment from My Youth - The First Time I Saw "Star Wars"

When Star Wars first came out in May, 1977, I was living in Italy. My friend James went to see it, Guerre Stellari, and said he didn't think it was a good movie so I didn't go see it. The next year, in May, 1978, I started college in The States and the movie was still going strong! A cute girl on campus asked me if I would like to go see it with her and I said sure (twist my arm, why don't you!).

She told me she'd meet me in front of the movie theater. When I arrived, I looked for her but didn't see her right away. There were a bunch of my fellow college kids there, dressed in Star Wars costumes. Then this person dressed as Princess Leia came up to me and...it was my date! Ah!

She explained that by helping to promote the movie, she got in for free. Well, who was I to argue with a cheap date? When the movie was about to start, I escorted my princess inside and we sat down.

As the lights dimmed, she snuggled up next to me and put her lips next to my ear. Her breath was hot on my face and I started wondering what it might be like to make out with a princess with buns on the side of her head. She then whispered to me, ever so sexily, "I've seen this movie 57 times!"

My mouth dropped to the floor as I turned to her but she was already focused on the screen, wide-eyed with a big grin on her face. The John Williams music blasted us and I turned to see the opening shot of text moving away from me.

My date, who, as mentioned, had had multiple...viewings of the movie, proceeded to whisper in my ear at opportune times in my ear every instance in which a mistake in the movie was evident. After 57 times, she had each frame memorized and knew where the continuity and editing problems were. She told to watch the little round table during the scene in Obi Wan Kenobi's cave at the start of the movie. Obi and Luke were talking and there were three strange items on the table. Then the camera angle changed and there were two items there. Then it changed back and there were three...back and forth, back and forth.

She told me to look for when the Storm Trooper banged his head on the Death Star as they rushed into the control room where C3PO was waiting for them. She told me about all the other places in the movie that normally you wouldn't notice the first 15 or 20 times you saw the movie!

Ah, yes, the first time I saw Star Wars, it was with an all-knowing Princess Leia who had no idea how hot she looked but who was so totally into this movie that if she could have married it, she would have! Was the Force with me that night? I'm not telling!

Some Really Great Movies

I have not seen a movie I can truly say was original or that I really enjoyed in a long time. Lo and behold, recently I caught up with a few that I really loved. Here's a list. Go rent these movies!

Pan's Labyrinth - From Spain, in Spanish with English subtitles. This is a wonderful movie, disturbing in several places but also a fairy tale. It's not a comedy - it's drama at its highest, fanciful and beautiful in many ways. The actors are all believable, especially the 12-year-old protaganist Ofelia. This is rated R and is not for children.

V for Vendetta - Based on a comic book (sorry, graphic novel) but far different from schlock movies like The Fantastic Four. This one is a Wachowski Brothers movie and stars Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. Set in a future London, it has a lot to say about would-be dictators, terrorism, resistance to injustice and much more. I enjoyed this one a lot. It's also rated R.

Requiem for a Dream - OK, this one I actually saw two years ago but I need to mention it because this is one of the best movies I've ever seen from the standpoint of emotionally draining me. It was one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen, it had me in tears, and would not leave my head for a month. When I would try to tell others about it out loud, I would start to shake. So why do I think it's so wonderful? Because it did what it set out to do. It works. It bears repeated viewing but it isn't for the faint of heart. This one stars Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans. Rated R.

I'll tell you about more movies I like later, and some that I hated too!