Saturday, February 10, 2007

I lost it at the movies

The New York Times Magazine has an über-arty little video on celebrities' first big impression at the movies: Cate Blanchett reveling in horror movies, Brad Pitt shocked at the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at the drive-in, Helen Mirren on l'Aventurra (and doing her Anna Magnani impression), Abbie Cornish going blind into Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Ken Watanabe on The Deer Hunter, Penélope Cruz on Billy Wilder and Leo DiCaprio on King Kong, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Watership Down and Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

What movies are twirled together in the DNA of my cinephilia? Jurassic Park was my first transporting experience at a theater -- genuine terror and excitement, all from flat images. Then there's Mary Poppins -- constantly watched at my grandparents' house, and the first time I felt magic from a movie (along with, yes, Bedknobs & Broomsticks). What's in your movie DNA?


Middento said...

Ooh, what a lovely question.

My DNA has the following:

- Singin' in the Rain, because I caught it on TV as a kid ALL THE TIME, yet never realized that what I was watching was magic
- Any number of Chuck Jones cartoons, because I caught them on TV and DID realize that what I was watching was magic
- Popeye, which I've talked about elsewhere
- Airplane! which, at the age of 8, made me cry in fear (more understandably, this was also caused by Poltergeist
- Rebel Without a Cause, on the big screen, 35mm print, in college = heaven
-Speaking Parts, which turned me into a serious cinephilic adult

Lindsey said...

I had never been, nor have I been since, as exhilarated by a movie as I was when I saw Adaptation. I was walking on air afterwards. I couldn't get it out of my mind for days. It is one of my most incredible, unique memories. I couldn't have imagined being so affected by a movie, and I don't expect to ever be able to recreate the experience or the feeling. How very special it was.

Jason said...

While it hasn't held up all that well, E.T. represented my first encounter with true film magic. Willy Wonka and Back to the Future also figure prominently in my movie DNA. Those three films epitomize childhood for me, and I still can't change the station when the latter two come on TV.

michael said...

*Batteries Not Included
Jurassic Park
Heart & Souls
Harold & Maude (a much later addition)
+ any Disney movie that came out before Tarzan

J.J. said...

@ middento: Airplane! made you cry in fear? What?

@ Lindsey: Adaptation rearranged my movie DNA, that's for sure.

@ Jason: Agreed on Back to the Future.

@ Michael: Disney movies before Tarzan...Sleeping Beauty was key for me. I think I'm going to do a post on it soon.

Middento said...

Yep. Cried. My parents had to take me out of the theater. Proving that indeed I was too young for it. I was 8 and about to fly the following week.

Naturally, I saw it again years later and now think it's comic genius. What can I say? I was also excited to see The Blue Lagoon.

Ehil Bent said...

Oh, and The Never-ending Story (pt. 1 + 2).

Important and terrifying.