Friday, January 21, 2011

On Second Look

You know how you remember your favorite stuff from childhood/young adulthood with a kind of hazy adoration? How when you think of these things, be they songs, TV shows, movies, sporting events you just know that nothing contemporary will ever compare?

Well, I love movies. I love thinking and writing about movies. A few months ago I decided to try and turn my college-aged daughter onto a film I loved when it came out, John Sayles' coming of age movie "Baby It's You". Sorry John, but it just did NOT hold up. As my daughter looked at me with questioning eyes, eyes that asked "What the hell were you smoking, Dad?", I had to admit that the movie just didn't equal my glowing memory of it.

An idea came to me, that it would be a fun project to list about 50 of these lesser known films that I had warm and fuzzies about, and to rewatch them now and see if the jaundiced eye is still able to appreciate them, or if there is a reason they have been forgotten, or at best only in a film geek's vocabulary.

What's in it for you? Well, you might get turned on to something special, a great, but lesser known film that stands the test of time. Don't get me wrong, these are not poorly reviewed pieces of junk that I latched on to....these are really good movies that just don't get recognition from AFI or the other top listers. I liked these movies a lot more than "Gone With The Wind", Ben Hur", "High Noon" or "Fellowship of The Ring", all of which appear on the AFI top 100.

Let's see if I still do.

I'll first write about what I remember, why I loved the movie, and what made it especially memorable. Then, I'll watch the film, and tell you what 2011 me thinks.

To quote the great Dylan, "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now".

My first rewatch will be "Breaker Morant", a 1980 Australian courtroom drama that has a great connection with Kubrick's "Paths of Glory".


  1. We apparently had similar experiences with favorite movies from our childhood/teenage years not passing the "Dana test" ... even I had to admit that "The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea" didn't cut it all these years later as she bailed early and I turned it off a few minutes later. (Though I want to know how many self-love scenes Barbara Hershey has been featured in now that "Black Swan" has been released.) ... Interested in a family viewing of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They"???

  2. Don't forget all those self-rape scenes from "The Entity"!