Thursday, August 28, 2008

Colder than a Ticket Taker's Smile at the Ivar Theatre


Being a cinephile can be a tricky thing. One must profess their love for movies and often have this love and knowledge of film thrown back in their face by those other movie lovers out there, the ones who control the box office and "just want to be entertained." As a result our behaviors change over the years; they adapt, modify, and adjust. When my cinephilia began I recommended one movie after another to anyone who would listen. Slowly my recommendations whittled down to just select family and friends until finally it became one of almost complete dimishment. I recommend movies online on my blog and in my comments section to like-minded enthusiasts but in the face to face world, except for my wife, I haven't recommended * a movie to anyone in years. You get older, you get wiser. You learn that some things just aren't worth it. **

When I was a teenager I adored it when someone found out I loved movies. I'd break into a riff on everything from German expressionism to Hollywood consumerism. I soaked it up. I drank it down like Dionysus on a three day Nectar binge. I especially liked it when an older person would mention someone like Irene Dunne or Paul Muni and say, "Oh you wouldn't know them, they're before your time." Oh yeah? That's when they'd get a Dunne/Muni history lesson like they'd never had before. ***

Then I'd find myself arguing for movies I didn't even like! I still do it on occasion but nothing like my early twenty-something heyday. Someone who only wanted their movies to entertain them would remark that they saw [insert name of revered film masterpiece here] on television last night and "it sucked!" Okay. I think to myself, "I'm not wild about that movie either but I know it's excellent, it's just not a favorite. And I know this guy's favorite movie of all time is Police Academy 3 so I'm going to let him have it." But nowadays, faced with the same situation, I am much more likely to say, "Well there you go. Guess it's not for everybody," and quickly add, "Boy look at the time, gotta go."

It's not that the passion isn't there anymore, it's just that I finally learned only about five percent of the movie-going population cares a lick about anything beyond two to three hours of images and sounds to provide accompaniment to their popcorn eating. As for the five percent who do care, they're here online so I don't have to bother whipping my blood pressure into needle busting frenzy anymore over someone who wants to tell me they saw some Welles' stuff once and weren't very impressed. Yeah, that's great. Blow me.

To the outside world I'm an average moviegoer. If someone brings up my love for movies in polite conversation I'll play it down, say something like, "Doesn't everyone," and ask them to please continue telling me about their work on budget oversight with companies in receivership. Fascinating! To them my love for movies must not seem real. I come off as dispassionate and removed, distant and cold. I have no desire to discuss what's out right now with any of them. I have no desire to recommend a single film. If someone does ask, I'll ask them back, using the old tricks that psychics and palm readers have used for years: Ask lots of questions, feel the believer out, then recommend a current movie in release that they will clearly like. "I hear that [insert name of summer blockbuster here] is really good, you should go see that."

Of course, my passion for film is real and immense but I only show it here and with true believers, and perhaps even a few fellow travellers, in the face to face world. And I've grown to like it that way. I'm not a kid anymore and I don't feel the need to agitate, agitate, agitate about film in my everyday life. It's cost me too much wasted time. But I'll keep doing it here and often. If the internet hadn't come along I don't know what I would have done. I've met more true film lovers, more dyed in the wool cinephiles online than I have ever met in the offline world. Here at Cinema Styles I revel in the world of cinema and always will, even if to the outside world I may as well be taking tickets at the Ivar Theatre.


_____________________


* - Two things I learned quickly: Never recommend foreign-language or Robert Altman films to anyone who is not a cinephile. You will face only heartache and despair.


** - Please insert recommendations you were burned on in the comments section.


*** - This happened with a barber of mine when I was around 14. He found out I loved movies and told me one of his favorite movies was The Last Angry Man with Paul Muni but that I probably didn't know Muni because of my age. He never made that mistake again.

103 comments:

Fox said...

Great post Jonathan. Not to make other commenters on here jealous, but it's my favorite of the week (so far).

You expressed the awkwardness I feel when I'm in the "real" world versus the "reel" world. I don't fault people at work for not being rabid about movies as I am, but when they asked what I did last night, I feel weird saying "Oh, I watched a film called Hukkle last night". It starts of an explanation that will just end up down a wormhole.

I do recommend Hollywood movies that I get enthused about, but I would be lying if I said didn't fake excitement when a co-worker tells me how awesome he/she thought Iron Man was. That may seem phony, but to me these are my work friends that are trying to reach out to me b/c they know I like movies. Why debate the cinema of Jon Favreau when people are just being nice? It's like that scene in Ghost World where Buscemi tries to explain traditional ragtime music to the lady that likes "the blues".

As far as failed recommendations? Man... you hit on a sweet spot with Altman. I don't know how many times I've recommended a film of his and had a blank face or forced smile come back at me... The Wedding, The Company, Brewester McCloud. But perhaps the worst was when I handed my dad Rushmore and then he handed it back after watching and said "Gimme a break, kid".

Fox said...

p.s. GREAT BANNER! (ok, I'm officiallty kissing Lapper's ass today.)

Marilyn said...

I love this post, too. It really hits home for all film bloggers and those who read them.

A lot of people know I have a film blog, especially at work. NOBODY asks me to recommend films. I don't see mainstream films, so I can't join in any discussions. It's a nice division we have at work. The only person who totally ticks me off (in general, not just about movie) assumes I'm a cineplex gal and assures me I would never see the film she saw the previous night. She's the worst kind of film snob - one who thinks she has good taste and wide knowledge, but couldn't handle the truth.

I talk films when I'm actually at the theaters, because I know the people who are working there or seeing the films. We see each other all the time, even if sometimes we don't know each other's names. Of course, the hubby and I met on an Internet film discussion board, so I can always talk to him.

I did lend a my DVD of "Night of the Living Dorks" to a workmate, and he liked it. He loaned me "Death to Smoochy," and I enjoyed it well enough. It was congenial.

I don't think I've ever recommended a film that someone saw and hated, but that's happened to me several times. The hubby, of course, remembers films from his hippie days fondly, but in 2008, they are dreadful (one even had my most loathed accoutrement - a chimp acting like a person). A lot of people recommended The Red Violin to me, so I figured it had to be lousy and didn't go. But one film a film buff I respect suggested that I went to see and hated was Japon. Oh well, it was worth a try.

Pat said...

Jonathan -

First of all, I LOVE that banner - it made me laugh out loud!

I also love your post and it rings pretty true for me. In my twenties, I used to try dragging friends to see foreign films with me, but they eventually all started begging off. When I moved to the Chicago suburbs in 1994, I was forturnate to meet a group of cinephile friends among the community theater companies I got inolved in. We're still going to movies together today.

But, yeah, I don't tell too many people at work about my blog or the movies I watch. I just tired of the glazed, confused looks I get in return.

Fox said...

Marilyn -

I'm curious. What are some of the "dreadful" films from "the hippie days"? :) I'm anxious to hear what they were!

And I haven't seen Japon, but I saw that director's second film, Battle In Heaven, based on a fellow film lovers recommendation and I also hated it.

Pat said...

Oh, and Marily, I think you should give "The Red Violin" a try. I really like that film myself.

bill r. said...

"Well, last night, I watched this movie called Hour of the Wolf..."

I hear you, Fox. I hate when people at work ask me about movies. Or when people tell me later that they didn't get the ending of No Country for Old Men. What am I supposed to say? "Well, you see, the end of the film is trying to teach us something about mortality, and the constancy of evil..." They'd probabyl hit me. And they'd have every right!

No, these days I just keep all this stuff more or less to myself. I guess that's why I started a blog, to get all this stuff off my chest. Now if I could only think of something to write...

Marilyn said...

Moon Pilot - out dreaded chimp!

What's So Bad About Feeling Good>

The DVD was in PAL, so I didn't have to watch it, but I suspect Themroc is awful.

ARBOGAST said...

I talk films when I'm actually at the theaters

Shh! Some of us are trying to hear the picture!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox - Thanks for fully justified overpraise of my post and banner. It's why you're on the payroll son.

When I'm asked about the last movie I saw I freeze up. I know it's nothing anyone wants to actually hear about. My usual response, "I can't remember" which makes me look like an idiot. Still, I prefer the idiot look to explaining why "old" movies aren't "booooorrrring!"

And Altman. He's the director that finally did me in with recommendations. I'd think, "My god they have to like this one, it's so rich, so textured, so..." Nope. Nothing but "eh, it was okay" or "kinda boring."

Jonathan Lapper said...

Marilyn - The last time I had worked with someone who really knew I loved movies he kept bringing me DVDs to watch and they were all dreadful Tarantino wannabe knock-offs. I felt like Woody Allen in Annie Hall interviewing with the old-time comedian to become his writer - "I don't know how much longer I can keep this smile plastered on my face". I thought they were all awful but had to keep saying things like, "Yeah, it was pretty... um... uh... interesting in... uh... the way... um... it sort of did that whole thing... um... you know... that thing."

And my wife, thank Zeus, has an undying love and knowledge of old cinema. Whew.

spartickes said...

I thought I was the only one who had to deal with this! My DVD collection seems to be the cause of most of the issues, it's 1,100 titles strong and it's the pride of my den. (When my kids aren't in the room anyway!)

The collection though is like a magnet, people come over to hang out or play video games and they are drawn to the floor to ceiling shelves, and then the comments start.

'You sure have a lot of movies I've never heard of.'

'Italian horror movies? I bet those are good to get drunk and watch!'

'What, do you have ALL of Spike Lee's movies? Do you really like him or something?'

'How do you watch all those ones in other languages?'

After ten minutes or so of this comes the inevitable and dreaded conversation

Friend: 'So which one would you recommend to me?'

Me: 'Here, this one is good!'

Friend: 'Oldboy? Sounds funny I guess.'

Me: 'I feel sick.'

Jonathan Lapper said...

Pat - First, thanks. Second, I used to make my mom watch foreign films with me. From about 18 to 24 90 percent of all movies I watched were foreign as I desperately tried to see every foreign film I had ever read or heard about. I finally stopped forcing my mom to watch them with me as it was becoming difficult to watch the movie with the constant sighs and groans coming from the peanut gallery.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill - "Hour of the Wolf" - at least it sounds like a summer blockbuster so you could probably fake your way through a conversation on it. Cries and Whispers on the other hand would probably sink you immediately.

And here's how you come up with something to write: I was over at Cinema Styles today and Jonathan was discussing how difficult it is dealing with non-cinephiles when recommending movies. It got me to thinking about a movie I saw once that floored me but no one else seemed...

I do that kind of blog-inspired post writing all the time. Now get writing.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - That's why I pull out my I-Phone, light up the screen and start texting away. I don't want to bother my fellow filmgoers.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Spartickes - My DVD collection is the source of many a baffled, confused look on the faces of my kid's friends. And the question, "What's good?" always amuses me.

"Well, I'm glad you asked 'what's good' because I purposely have purchased very shitty movies that are mostly horrible torture to watch. Thank you for not assuming that I would actually buy good movies but instead would build up my collection with really, really bad stinkers. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Now get the hell out of my house."

Marilyn said...

Arbo - You would not know how funny your comment was to me unless you had seen my behavior at times at the movies.

In a showing of The Devil, Probably, the patron in front of me fell asleep and started snoring. Without thinking, I grabbed his shoulders and shook him hard. He stayed awake.

At a showing of Kwaidan at the Siskel Center, where I expect people to know how to behave, an old man and old woman were talking. The lights went down, the curtains parted, and the opening credits started to roll. They kept talking, though louder because they had to be heard over the movie. I got out of my seat, moved to the woman, and punched her in the arm. She got mad, but shut up. I guess she figured I could take her.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I'm taking Marilyn to the movies with me from now on.

Marilyn said...

Let's go see My Bodyguard, Jonathan!

spartickes said...

Jonathan,
I have a friend that I've known since high school who is the epitome of these encounters. His response to watching The Godfather?

'It was too dark and kind of slow. Donnie Brasco is way better. Also, there is no way in hell I could get through the second one, I didn't understand why they went back in time.'

Oh, just kill me where I stand.

Jonathan Lapper said...

But then Moody will bring his bodyguard Mike who will start trying to intimidate you.

Mike: You're Marilyn huh? Moody says you're tough. That true? You tough, Marilyn?

Then there'd be a whole thing and finally I'd punch Moody in the nose and you'd take down Mike and leaving dazed on the banks of Lake Michigan.

Actually that sounds like fun. Let's do it!

bill r. said...

Spartickes - I'm surprised that guy even liked Donnie Brasco. That one's pretty "slow", too.

Marilyn - You are the best person ever. You actually hit someone for talking. That's magnificent.

Jonathan - Oh, I have a bitch of a long post on the way. I'm just fooling and pretending (sort of).

Jonathan Lapper said...

I hate people using 'too dark' and 'slow' as a criticism of a movie (or book for that matter). There's a big difference between deliberate pacing (Kubrick films) and slow (Michael Bay films). For all of Bay's visual pyrotechnics I find his films dreadfully slow and truly dark, as in they depress me in their mediocrity.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill - I can hardly wait. Perhaps it will be ready by the time I return (I have to pick up the little one from the bus stop right now). Back in a bit.

Pat said...

Marilyn - I agree with Bill - you are my hero! I've contemplated doing way worse to movie talkers (and it's always the older couples who talk the loudest.)

spartickes said...

Re: Michael Bay

The beauty of cinephilia vs. cinemania is in it's wide ranging, devouring nature, right? So if there was one particular Michael Bay movie that someone was rather hopelessly and senselessly devoted to, that wouldn't mean that person would get kicked out of the cinephile club right?

bill r. said...

I would say no, Spartickes, though an asterisk might be placed next to your name.

I know that The Rock has a lot of fans who are serious film lovers. I'm not one of those people, but I know they exist. Is that the movie?

bill r. said...

Jonathan - it won't be. Look for it tomorrow.

spartickes said...

It's actually Armageddon. I know that Liv putting her hand up on the screen as daddy Bruce says goodbye is supposed to be the big moment, but it's the scenes with Will Patton and his son when it starts to get all dusty in the viewing room, for me at least.

Marilyn said...

I don't condone violence, but sometimes, they give you no choice...

(hitches pants by loops, kicks at dirt, twists tequila worm between teeth)

bill r. said...

Spartickes, I got choked up at Deep Impact (not Michael Bay, but still). So don't feel bad.

spartickes said...

Marilyn, I'd like to go to the show with you, it seems like you wouldn't be embarrassed by my behavior.

A couple years ago I was in a theater when the patrons a few seats to the side and one row behind kept talking. After several shushes that had no effect I decided to stand up in front of them blocking the screen. When asked what the hell I was doing, I said 'You're ruining my enjoyment of the movie, I figured I'd ruin yours' Yeah, we all got kicked out of that flick, of course, I got a refund, the talkers didn't. So I feel pretty justified.

patricia52 said...

I don't talk movies with most people because I'm afraid they'll discover that....I don't know a lot about movies. Oh, sure, I know more than most people. But the movies I like I will watch over and over. Election. Dark City. Dune. (see what I mean, guilty secret). Especially old ones, The Awful Truth. Dinner at Eight. Even old movies I know are supposed to be bad (The Bride Came COD). I'm sure I'll be in a conversation with someone about Matthew Broderick's haircut in Election and their eyes will glaze over and they'll mutter "Bergman" and I'll think they mean Ingrid.

Fox said...

I've discovered that the elderly (65 and over) tend to be the worst of the "talkers".

Last week a cute couple sat behind me, but their hearing was so poor that they had to ask each other questions the whole time!!! I gave them 4 glances but it did nothing. I didn't have a heart for a "Will you please be quiet", which I actually pulled at a screening of The Wackness two weeks prior. The woman looked at me like I asked her if I could see her boobs or something.

Bill-

It's funny you mention No Country, b/c I had THAT EXACT scenario here at work. My buddy here said "Hey, I didn't get the end. What is it supposed to mean?" I told him I didn't know either. It's not that I think he's dumb or I'm above him or any of that... it just feels WAY weird in those moments, you know?

Rick Olson said...

Hey -- both "The Rock" and "Armageddon" are Criterion Collection titles, believe it or not.

I recommend movies a lot ... two of my favorite recent recommendations were "Andre Rublev" and "Cookies Fortune," speaking of Altman. The first one didn't go well, they asked me about it because I wrote about it, and so I recommended it and they rented it from Netflix. I told them "Now, you have to remember: it's a three and a half hour, dour, movie in Russian with some not a lot of action" but they rented it anyway.

When I asked them how they liked it, they looked at me warily, like I might bite them if they said they hated it, and said "it sure was ... long" The Altman recommendation hasn't come to fruition, yet ...

I recently showed "The Passion of Joanne of Arc" to a room full of southern Presbyterians, and lived to tell the tale ...

I think you're all a bunch of wussies, not recommending stuff. A cinephile (actually, I'm more of a cinephyte) has to be a tough yet humble warrior in the front ranks, battling against the shit on celluloid that passes for movies these days.

(and I can't believe I just wrote that last paragraph)

Fox said...

(GULP) Dude... Marilyn scares the livin' sh*t out of me!!!

She makes Cubs fans cry AND she punches old ladies!! I think this comes from the imprinting that the "swords and sandles" movies had on her as a child.

Bob Turnbull said...

You know, I hear what everyone is saying and have very similar experiences, but I don't want to shut that part of me down at work or with friends. I'm not going to dive into deep rants or discussion topics when I know no one has seen a certain film, but I don't want to stop trying to share why I love film so much...

I figure if people tire of hearing that I just saw a Quebecois film from the early 70s or a Japanese horror film as my most recent viewing experience, then they'll stop asking (just like I'll stop asking the sailing enthusiast what he did this past weekend or the new parent how their baby is...). But if they keep asking, well maybe you've managed to share something.

I figure if I can control my main instinctive response to blather excitedly about, say, "Songs From The Second Floor" and just mention that I really enjoyed certain aspects and why (because they usually raise an eyebrow when I mention camera angles or lighting, etc.), they may see that I honestly mean it (without being a slavish fanboy). So perhaps that sticks with 'em. If not, so be it. And f**k 'em.

I've been a bit fortunate though...In my old department, I had a friend who also got excited about the new Criterion releases and saw tons of foreign films (he's a big Bergman fan). When I moved to my new area, I put up some pictures of old 30s films (one of my film books got damaged in a flood and I saved some of the pages that were still pristine). Three separate people noticed, commented one several of the films and were truly curious to see my blog. One of them berated me gently for "only" having seen 3 of the 6 Thin Man films. Another almost teared up a bit when we were discussing Alec Guiness and I mentioned that I really enjoyed "The Horse's Mouth" (it was one of her father's favourite films).

So you never know when you'll meet, if not quite a cinephiliac like yourself, someone who still gets more than just 2 hours of turning off the brain from film.

As far as recommendations...Yeah, I shy away from that a bit, but actually try to judge the person and slowly pull them away from the obvious choices. This can of course go horribly wrong...My friend from my old department and I once recommended "Secretary" to our manager as he said he was looking for something a bit different and risque. We kinda thought it might not go over well. We were right.

But yeah, online discussion has been terrific for me. Not just as an outlet, but as an educational tool. I'm probably older than some of you (I'm a gasping, weezing 42), but my mania started only within the last decade (always loved movies, just not quite to this extent). So I'm digesting as much as possible every day.

I've been lucky enough to meet some of my fellow local bloggers and have established some good friendships. I met a few more out of town ones at last year's Toronto filmfest and we've set up a meet up again this year (with a few new folks joining in). Film talk and beer...Ah!

Fox said...

Rick... I can't believe you recommended Tarkovsky to an unawares. That is gutsy my man!

Not that it isn't worthy. I can stare at The Mirror for the third time, not know what's going on at times, and think it's some of the most beautiful poetry out there. Did Tarkovsky make ANY subpar films?!??

Marilyn said...

Sparti - Embarrassed? Hell, I'd buy you an extra box of Goobers!

Fox - Yeah, I'm a weird-ass dame, ain't I. Now, come here and meet my little friend Evinrude...

spartickes said...

Marilyn, not that you had accepted my offer to go catch a movie, but I think I'm going to have to retract it, I didn't know you were anti-Cubs!

Marilyn said...

Ah me, it will never work, Sparti. The Cubs give me a fever (though I love Wrigley Field, even with lights).

ARBOGAST said...

I grabbed his shoulders and shook him hard.

How could you tell - was his fly down?

spartickes said...

Bob, I don't want to shut that part down either, frankly I can't, I have a large film related tattoo on my right forearm that starts a lot of movie conversations for me. The problem lies in the fact that people will continually approach me for advise even after they repeatedly, loudly dislike my previous recommendations. That makes it tough, for me at least.

Rick Olson said...

I've never met a bad Tarkovsky, Fox, though if he'd lived long enough he might have made a stinker. It happens to the best of them.

And Patricia52, I live in fear that somebody will discover someday just how little I know about the movies.

A cinephyte I am.

spartickes said...

Arbo, you win commenting. Pick up your prize at the front desk.

bill r. said...

Fox - Yes, it does feel weird. And I also never feel as though I'm better than the other person, I just don't know how to get into it without sounding like a douche. So I guess I'm the one with the problem.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Responding in order:

I hate Armageddon. Sorry. After about twenty minutes I was visibly angry. Deep Impact I didn't mind so much.

Patricia52 - I am forever insecure of my credentials as a cinephile. When meeting Nathaniel the other night for drinks I was very nervous thinking, "Oh god, he's going to mention one movie after another that I haven't seen and I'm going to seem like a huge faker!" But it was fine. Do you know how many tens of thousands of movies have been made and how many of them cinephiles haven't yet seen?

Rick - I appreciate you come on my blog and calling me and my readers "wussies," really I do. Thanks. Especially after I defended you on your blog against I.Q. allegations. You're quite a friend. Anyway, my point is that I don't believe it is of any value whatsoever to try and "recruit people to the cause." At an early age you're either an art lover or you're not and I've wasted too much time trying to guide people to certain movies. It's all about picking your battles and those are battles I don't care to fight anymore. But again, thanks for the "wussie" line. [mumbles under breath - "jackass"]

Bob - Thanks for saying properly what Rick was trying to say. I guess I think that a cinephile can detect through short movie soundbite conversations if someone else is a cinephile or not in which case I would happily engage in film discussion with them. And trust me, 42 is not "older than most" on my blog. I think my average reader and commenter here is in the forties from what I've gathered through multiple online comments (how old they were when they saw a certain movie, what shows they watched as kids, etc). Some are in their 20's or 30's and some in their 40's, 50's and 60's but I'd say the average here is probably around 40.

Fox - Tarkovsky, any subpar. Yes. This is an interesting story you might have read about him at Telluride in 1983.

Fox said...

Sparti-

I can't resist... what is the tattoo of? Please say James Woods.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - thank you for the stimulating comments. You erect quite an argument with your question.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I have tattoos on my arms but they're not film related. However, I'd love to have a tattoo of Marilyn roughing up a loud patron. I don't know what Marilyn looks like but for the sake of my tattoo I'm going with the Rosie the Riveter look.

ARBOGAST said...

I got choked up at Deep Impact

I think Deep Impact is often incredibly profound, even if that profundity is expressed in the seemingly mundane event of people saying goodbye. Both Michael Tolkin and Bruce Joel Rubin, who scripted, have spent the lion's share of their careers investigating the dynamics of death and profound loss and that shows in the film's many farewell scenes. But it's also a blockbuster and full of money shots, some of them powerful and some of them silly (I crack up every time I see that old coot get blown away by the tidal wave while reading his newspaper in Washington Square Park - he should have read something other than the sports section). Repeat viewings have endeared the movie to me and I plan on writing about it soon. Well, time permitting.

Fox said...

Jonathan -

Is Marilyn aware that Rick called her a "wussie"?

What if it Rick is at home right now, enjoying his time at ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.com, and Marilyn comes through the monitor Ringu style!?! Awesome.

Then Arbo can take the grisly stills and blog about it.

Fox said...

Arbo-

Man... I'm disapponted that you didn't turn I got choked up at Deep Impact into an awesome sex joke. Dude??

bill r. said...

Arbo, have you read Tolkin's novel Among the Dead? Chilling and funny and dark as hell.

Anyway, glad I'm not alone on Deep Impact. Those goodbye scenes were effective partly because they're so unexpected. I mean, Christ, this is a big FX movie! Why are people tearfully resigning themselves to their early and impending dooms, and then actually dying???

I was caught unawares, you see.

Rick Olson said...

Jonathan, you're welcome. I'm always glad to help.

And, Emerson's not a big fan of Tarkovsky, is he? The story of Widmark and Tarkovsky at Telluride doesn't have much to do with how good or bad his films are, just what an asshole Tarkovsky could be.

ARBOGAST said...

I'm disapponted that you didn't turn I got choked up at Deep Impact into an awesome sex joke. Dude??

I was thwarting expectations back when you were still floating around in your father's balls!

Rick Olson said...

And Fox, I'll have you know that ICANhas a cheeseburger, any time I want. What cute little kitties ...

bill r. said...

Boobs.

Fox said...

Dang... Arbo is on fire today!

Did you get lucky last night, or something? (Since you've already ripped my dad, please leave my mom out of your answer).

spartickes said...

Fox- The tattoo is part of the countdown leader from an old 35mm test reel we had at a theater I worked at. It has 'Splice Here' at one end then "4,3,2, Picture start' with film sprockets running down the sides.

Jonathan Lapper said...

The most effective moment for me in Deep Impact was when Tia takes the baby and runs to the helicopter followed by the mother (what's her name from ER). I think that scene is done extremely well.

I don't like the scenes on the shuttle so much though. But on the ground, it's pretty good.

Jonathan Lapper said...

My tattoos aren't nearly as cool as that. These things aren't permanent are they? I mean, I can just wash them off and get new ones right?

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hey, how about a couple of you go comment on my posts at the Film Experience I have listed at the top of my sidebar. Geez, nobody ever comments on my stuff over there. It's depressing. Fox, I'll give you five bucks.

Fox said...

Dude... you put up a MLK post this morning and nobody commented?? WHAT A BUNCH OF RACISTS!

spartickes said...

I've gotta say if these tattoos wash off I'm going to be put out, I endured a lot for these things. Not so much the looks I get for having them, but the fact that my wife called me a pussy because I tried to back out of my appointment to get my first one. We're a loving couple. Really.

Fox said...

Wait... Sparti, are you married to Marilyn??? :o)

Marilyn said...

Funny, you should say that, Jonathan. I keep a Rosie the Riveter bobblehead on my desk. I think she looks a bit like me, too, especially the fist.

("You can't hit me for talking." "Yes We Can!")

The most awesome film tattoo I ever saw was in a film (so I don't think it's real). It was the Godfather logo on the arm of a fixer in Tell No One.

Oh and Rick, I know where you live... and your little dog, too.

spartickes said...

Fox-Firstly, well done, secondly my wifes name does happen to be Mari, people often wrongly assume that it is the diminutive of Marilyn or Maribeth. Turns out her parents are just weird.

Rick Olson said...

GULP! I, er, I just meant ... wussie in the sense of discerning, wise cinephile, Marilyn ...

bill r. said...

Poop.

Marilyn said...

Fox - I've adopted your comment as my tagline. I laughed so hard when I read it, my colleagues were yelling at me to shut up. (Then I threatened to punch them...)

Jonathan Lapper said...

Marilyn - (Then I threatened to punch them...) You're one in a million.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill - pee pee.

bill r. said...

Underwear.

Bob Turnbull said...

Spartickes, that's a shame that you have to deal with people who DEMAND you find something good for them. Suggest Warhol's "Empire" for them next time - at least you'll get them out of your hair for awhile...

That's the coolest tattoo ever by the way.

Jonathan, thanks for making me feel young and vibrant. I feel alive and I think I'll...Ow. Damn, I think I pulled something there. I better go lie down.

Wait, do I need to also post some sort of additional scatalogical code word for this post to go through? If so:

Fart.

spartickes said...

Bob- They might not actually be DEMANDING recommendations but I'm pretty easily intimidated.

Thank you for the compliment on the tattoo as well.

Code word code word?

I'm going to have to go with: toot.

I hope thats offensive enough, my kids are in the room.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bob, glad to help. We're all mature cinephiles here with kids and everything, although your pic's the best because it actually looks like your kid is trying to strangle you so it tells a dramatic story as well. And he looks happy about it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Spart - Toot? You gotta do better than that. Actually don't, I blame Bill for starting us down this road of scatalogical code words. I will now re-set the comment section using part of Fox's original comment:

Great post Jonathan... it's my favorite of the week.

Aahhh, that's better.

ARBOGAST said...

The number of comments to this post is ridiculous.

ARBOGAST said...

Ridiculous!

Peter Nellhaus said...

I former coworker told me he really loved movies. The discussion ended when he told me he was looking forward to Prince Caspian.

And since no one dared say it in this comment section, 'I AM SPARTACUS!"

Fox said...

Arbogast has kids?

ARBOGAST said...

Arbogast has two kids... that he knows about.

spartickes said...

Seriously there are far too many comments, I don't even remember what the original post was about. Banana slugs I think?

Peter, if you are referring to me, thanks for the shout out! (Thats what I'm calling it anyway. I put that movie on in the background when I'm working just it's like they're cheering just for me!)

Jonathan Lapper said...

When I said "we're all mature with kids" I was kind of guessing there. I don't actually know if someone has kids unless they mention it. Rick's mentioned it, Bob of course, me, Arbo, Spartickes but I've never heard anything from Fox and Bill has stated that he does not and on it goes.

Anyway, I like ridiculous comment counts. And I like the word "ridiculous," especially the way John Marley says it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Peter - The Prince Caspian line gave me my first laugh of the day. Thanks.

bill r. said...

Penises.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Speaking of having kids "that you know of." Years ago when I was with my first wife, the one with a real talent for sucking one's soul dry and finding every possible way to remove any traces of joy from life, we were in the grocery store and this little boy, around four came up to me and said, "Daddy! Daddy!" He looked at his mom and then turned back to me and said, "Look it's daddy." The mother took him away and apologized and then my wife looked at me and said, "What the hell was that all about?" And I said, "I really don't know. No, seriously I don't know! Look I'm not just saying that I REALLY DON'T KNOW!" And I really didn't. That mother's face didn't ring a bell at all.

spartickes said...

So, so sorry about that time in the supermarket Jonathan. Mom took me out to the car and explained that I wasn't supposed to talk to "somtimes daddy" unless he was at our house.

Also, I am far too tired to tell if that was in good taste, or much with the sense making.

daddy

Ed Howard said...

Wow, this really went off-track. Great post Jonathan. I don't back away from talking about the films I watch, generally, though it's rare that I recommend anything. Recently a co-worker was talking about, of all things, the US remake of Funny Games, really enthusing about it, and I was tempted to point him towards Cache until I realized that he was mainly just jazzed up by the violence/horror aspect and didn't really get the film. I used to work right across the street from the local arthouse theater, so I'd often comment on new movies playing there that I'd seen the night before or wanted to see, usually to complete bafflement. One co-worker thought it was odd that I went to see films based on who the director was. Hmmm...

Peter Nellhaus said...

Glad to provide you with a laugh, Jonathan. Sorry that your kids aren't interested in classic films at this time. I have memories of seeing old films on TV with my parents, although it got difficult after they got divorced and both wanted to see Citizen Kane with me at a theatrical revival.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Ed - I too have encountered looks of bewilderment because I care who the director is. I think people really do believe that movies are done spontaneously with no writers or directors present. And if they do acknowledge a director, they believe that the director simply stands on the sidelines and is concerned only with when the camera rolls and when it stops and has nothing whatsoever to do with characterizations, visualizations, pacing, etc. It's amazing. I don't know how people don't understand that.

Jonathan Lapper said...

PETER and ARBO and ALL - Peter, I don't know if you're referring to my Film Experience post or something I said here (where I've lost track) but to clear things up: There are four kids, children of divorce all. They range from 7 to 19. The seven year old watches classic films with us weekly. Tonight for instance, we're going to watch The Red House which came in the mail this week along with Dead of Night and Queen of Spades. None of them were available on Netflix, believe it or not, so I had to buy them (oh, what a sacrifice on my part - I think I got The Red House based on Arbo's recommendation but I can't remember now). Anyway, she loves old horror films. LOVES THEM! At any given time of year if you ask her what movie she wants to watch 9 times out of 10 she will say Bride of Frankenstein. It's like some kind of life-giving heat stone that she just can't get enough of.

The youngest boy, 14, has mildly discerning taste and does what many young tykes do who want to have discerning taste - Parrot critics and their parents. But it's a start.

The two oldest (16 year old girl, 19 year old boy) are lost causes. The movies they find "good" and what they find "bad" is, in a word, appalling. There will always be crossover of course, when a good movie is also considered cool because of its content, but for the most part, I'd have to it doesn't look good. And the 16 year old - she and her friends will see ANYTHING! When you have children in their teens you finally begin to understand why studios play to teens and to the summer schedule. Because, with a few exceptions, they will see whatever is playing. Whatever it is. Anything. It Simply. Doesn't. Matter.

ARBOGAST said...

When you have children in their teens you finally begin to understand why studios play to teens and to the summer schedule. Because, with a few exceptions, they will see whatever is playing. Whatever it is. Anything. It Simply. Doesn't. Matter.

But that's the way it used to be. You didn't go to see a particular movie (although you might be excited about one title - Dracula Has Risen from the Grave - more than another - Ryan's Daughter), you went "to the movies." The local movie theater was a town common, a grange hall, the casbah, the crossroads of the world and you saw whatever was playing. I'm not kidding about the movies I mentioned above - at the tender age of 9 and 10, I went to see everything, from The Big Mouth with Jerry Lewis to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Maggie Smith, and I was entertained by them all.

I should see more movies with your 16 year old girl. I think I could be something like a mentor to her.

ARBOGAST said...

And if this comment section hits triple digits, I'll be extremely annoyed.

ARBOGAST said...

Extremely.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - I know that's how it's always been but the studios didn't play directly to it until the late seventies and early eighties. I wasn't saying we didn't see everything but that, in my case, it wasn't until I could look at it with older eyes that I realized just how undiscerning the teenage movie going mind is.

And if you get anywhere my daughter I shall smite you down with the force of Ceto casually destroying a fleet of Greek sailors.

And if that doesn't work, I'll call Marilyn.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh yeah, and she would never see a regular drama. That's another difference between now and then (Ryan's Daughter). In other words, when I say, they will see anything, I mean, anything bad. I mean they will see anything aimed at them. She has never once bothered with a new Woody Allen movie or adult drama of any kind in the theatre that I know of. But you did and so did I and that's a big difference.


Oh yeah, and stay away from her.

ARBOGAST said...

All right... you've won this round, Lapper...

Twirls mustache, flaps cape, disappears in a puff of smoke.

Bob Turnbull said...

I can't just let this post linger at 99 comments...

Jonathan, yes my son is indeed trying to strangle me in my profile picture. Wonder where he could've learned that from...?

I desperately want to watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark with him, but he's not quite ready for some of the intense scenes - he gets scared pretty easily. However, we have been playing the Indiana Jones Lego game on the Wii and he's been asking about the different scenes (boulder rolling down, etc.). He already seems to know the basic plots of the first 3 films just from the different levels of the game and keeps quizzing me on aspects of Temple Of Doom that I just can't remember (I didn't really like that film anyway and have only seen it the one time).

Did I mention that I will go on at length about my child if given the chance? Yeah, I'm one of those parents...

I'll go now.

Butt.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I can't just let this post linger at 99 comments...

Bless you kind sir.

With our little one, the seven year old, it's hit and miss. Because of older siblings she's seen and heard things most longshoremen haven't seen and heard.

She watched Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, filled with blood and carnage and had no problem. But the first five minutes of Theatre of Blood freaked her out so much I turned it off. Go figure.

spartickes said...

My 5 year old son has a weekly movie night with my wife (his mom, just to clarify). They've gotten through all six Star Wars flicks, the first three Indiana Jones, and various Pixar movies. The interesting thing to me is almost every other week he picks Spirited Away and stays engrossed the whole time, every time.

Not movies but TV related, he has seen Teletubbies, and, Barney and he shuns them both. I have high hopes for this kid.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I've found Spirited Away to be engrossing for any age. What a great movie.

And the teletubbies, Barney thing is always good to hear. Our seven year old doesn't even know they exist. When she was watching kiddie shows like that we kept her on a steady diet of Kipper DVDs so she would never be exposed to the likes of Barney and Fiends (and yes I left out the "R" on purpose).