OH GOSH You guys! This turned out super long… apologies… I’d split it into two posts… but… eh… LOL (Also – Warning, some explicit conversation towards the end of this piece.)…
The other night, my husband brought me home a three disc set of classic musicals – it included West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
I decided that the kids MUST see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as it had been one I loved as a kid – surely they would too. I have been wrong before – the kids don’t always enjoy what I did as a kid for whatever reason – but this time my excitable assessment was correct. They LOVED it. Immediately after it was over, they assured me thus and begged to be able to watch it again the next day.
This got me thinking about favourite movies over the years – which I imagine have influenced me in various ways over the years – much like my book list the other day. I brain stormed and I came up with so many I doubt I have even been able to think of everything I have loved or repeatedly watched in my 33 years. I also doubt I could write much of anything about them all without making a blog post a ridiculous length. So I am just going to list what my brain storming session came up with – making a few notes here and there only.
As a child, I remember a few favourites that were clearly children’s shows such as Fluppy Dogs, Care Bears in Wonderland, Fairy Tale Theatre, Winnie the Pooh and friends etc – but the majority of the films I enjoyed, even from a young age were classic musicals… Specifically musicals from the golden age of musical theatre.
As a toddler my all time favourite was Wizard of Oz, but I also very much enjoyed an old ’30s version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream…. and every year at Christmas since I was about 2 or 3 I’ve watched a Swedish cartoon called Sagan om Karl Bertil Jonssons Julafton (The Tale of Karl Bertil Jonsson’s Christmas eve) from 1975. A tale that clearly indoctrinated me into the Swedish way of thinking about social justice. Another long time Christmas must-see is All I Want for Christmas, and Muppet Christmas Carol – all three of those I must watch each year, even to this day or it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.
I really enjoyed older movies in general – the ’60s Parent Trap with Haley Mills, Mary Poppins… Even such movies as Pollyanna.
I watched the heck out of several musicals, the ones that come immediately to mind are: The King and I, State Fair, Sound of Music, Pajama Game, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, and Carousel – the last of which I always remembered the scene after which Louise’s father (as a ghost) comes to visit her – that went like this:
Louise: I didn’t make it up, Mother. Honest, there was a strange man here, and he hit me hard. I heard the sound of it, Mother, but it didn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt at all. It was just as if he kissed my hand.
Julie: Go into the house, Louise.
Louise: What’s happened, Mother? Don’t you believe me?
Julie: I believe you.
Louise: Then why don’t you tell me why you’re actin’ so funny?
Julie: It’s nothin’, darlin’.
Louise: But is it possible, Mother, for someone to hit you hard like that – real loud and hard, and it not hurt you at all?
Julie: It is possible dear, for someone to hit you, hit you hard, and it not hurt at all.
This is not the first, nor the last movie that trained an idea in my mind that being mistreated by a man could somehow be twisted into something romantic. But it was one that stuck in my mind for a very long time. Well, hell… I’m 33 now and haven’t watched that particular musical in many years and yet I still remember it.
At around 8, my favourite movie became Kiss Me Kate – I still very much enjoy this movie (and actually got to see it onstage at the Kennedy Center when I was 18!) …But again, a story that promotes the loving and submission of a headstrong woman to her overbearing man. Both with the original Taming of The Shrew play-within-the-play, but also in the surrounding more modern 1950s tale.
Looking back over my likes and feelings when it came to movies I see nowadays how I was prepped to accept my abusive relationship with Wyatt once I turned 13. Not that movies were my only influence, of course.
As a young child – past the ages of 7 and 8 – I watched a lot of ’80s movies and I still watch them with nostalgia – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Goonies, Princess Bride, and especially the Back to The Future trilogy. My father also was deeply addicted to Star Trek: The Next Generation so that show and the accompanying movies were watched several times by us… On Laser Disc… OMG who remembers those???
I also watched the BBC Narnia movies and the Avonlea shows and movies over and over as a kid.
As I got older my tastes slowly started to change, but not by much. I still very much enjoyed my musicals – the theatre kid in me attached myself to Grease, Grease 2, Fiddler on the Roof, among my old favourites – I adored Kenneth Branagh (still do… Maaan… if I had a pass to cheat with the celebrity of my choice… I know he is quite a bit older than me… but he was and is very much an idol of mine) and I was transfixed with his skill as a Shakespearean actor. Nowhere near as stiff and dramatic as what one would see on BBC. Mr Branagh has a natural ability – a way to relay the Shakespearean vernacular as if it were the way to talk. As if he grew up speaking thus his whole life. But I digress – one of my favourite movies was Much Ado About Nothing, due in no small part to Mr Branagh’s talent.
I started watching more teenager related or older movies as well of course… stepping out of my childish viewpoints in general. Though watching Fear over and over (I’ve written about this movie and my experience with it here and here so I won’t explain much at this juncture) was once again something I connected with over abuse though I seemed not to consciously think about it at the time… I’ll bring forth another quote though… to illustrate how it also connected with the above mentioned scene.
Margot, a teenage girl says “So he hit you – sometimes that’s their asshole way of showing they love you.”
Way to rationalize the actions of my boyfriend I was dating at the very time this movie was released.
I think we had the Golden Age of teen movies in the ’90s and early ’00s… The clearly targeted at teens type movies that I held above the rest were: Whatever it Takes (Ooooh Shane West… Yum.), Cruel Intentions, 10 Things I Hate About You, Festival (a Swedish teen movie), Almost Famous, and Empire Records.
Svea and I also were very into Kevin Smith movies (still am… I’d totes do a marathon again with her) – Favourites of mine being Dogma and Clerks. We also loved Good Will Hunting and fancied ourselves to one day write a movie together- best friend style like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck… in fact, we often threw around ideas that we intended those men to perform in a very Kevin Smith style movie… haha.
I realised just last year when I had an argument with several ladies (good natured debate, really online with approximately 200 people weighing in on the discussion) regarding what constitutes “making out” or “fooling around.” I had stated at some point that performing blow jobs falls under making out. Tea bagging also a natural addition to a blow job. I was sorely out numbered in this opinion.Both opinions; they ALL disagreed that performing oral sex was part of making out AND when one was doing such a thing, tea bagging was not a natural addition to the act. Everyone else being aghast at this thought process. I messaged Svea and asked her opinion and she was the only one that agreed with both my assessments. Two days later I watched Clerks again and came across this scene:
Dante: You said you only had sex with three different guys; you never mentioned him!
Veronica: Because I never HAD sex with him.
Dante: You sucked his dick!
Veronica:We went out a few times. We never had sex but we fooled around.
Dante: Oh my God, WHY did you tell me you only had sex with three different guys?
Veronica: Because I DID only have sex with three different guys; that doesn’t mean I didn’t just go with people.
Dante: Oh my God, I feel so nauseous!
Veronica: I’m sorry, Dante, I thought you understood!
Dante: I did understand! I understood that you had sex with three different guys and that’s all you said!
Veronica: Please calm down.
Dante: How many?
Dante: How many dicks have you sucked?
Veronica: Let it go!
Dante: How many?
Veronica: All right, shut up a second and I’ll tell you! Jesus! I didn’t freak out like this when you told me how many girls you fucked!
Dante: This is different, this is important. How many? … Well?
Veronica: Something like… 36.
Dante: What? Something like 36?
Veronica: Lower your voice.
Dante: Wait, what is that anyway, something like 36? Does that INCLUDE me?
Veronica: Ummm… 37.
Dante: I’m 37?
I realised then that Svea and I were somewhat affected subliminally by this movie. Clearly we watched it so much the dialogue became second nature in the back of our minds Haha. I also realised that if that many women disagreed with my assessment of “fooling around” then my husband likely would have misunderstood what I had told him in the past regarding certain other men…Hmmm… eesh.
Moving on, I’ll add just a few more titles from my teen years – those are still my favourite memories of movies. I can’t forget I Am Dina, Den Osynlige (the American remake The Invisible is also very good!), White Oleander, Fight Club, Matrix… American History X… God, I just know I’m missing so many titles from this list. Clearly, I am a film whore as well as a book whore.
And on that note… I leave this here…