Friday, 15 June 2007

Repetitive vision

Re-reading the list(s) I posted yesterday I was taken by how many times I've seen most of the films on them, over and over and over again. Although not necessarily from the beginning. I'm talking here about coming across movies while channel surfing and suddenly encountering an old favourite, like Some Like It Hot or The Apartment or A Matter Of Life And Death, or, in the case of Sideways or Swingers, a relatively new one. These are movies that have become those kind of friends that it doesn't matter how long it is since you've last seen them, there's no awkward conversation when you meet again, just a seamless chat, picked up from the last time you saw them, even if that was a year or two before. These are movies that when you encounter, be it at the beginning, midway through, or somewhere in the latter stages, you're hooked. That's it. Whatever it was you were doing, is now forgotten. You know the film well enough that it doesn't matter where you pick it up, you just enjoy its mood or its characters or its humour. They're like warm, delicious, tasty treats. Sideways is a movie I'll watch, and watch, and watch, whenever it's on. And I never get tired of it. Ditto A Matter Of Life And Death which, if I had to pick a desert island movie would probably be it. I had this recently with Erin Brockovich which, to my mind, falls under the category of effortless storytelling. I've actually lost count of the number of times I've seen it. I have it on DVD. I have Thomas Newman's score on CD. And yet, there it was on television the other night, and although I wanted my bed, it drew me in and that was it...

4 comments:

Schmid4Brains said...

i have to completely agree with you on this. it's such a weird feeling. the reason they suck you in so quickly is because whatever part you come in at, your brain races through the movie and instantly catches you up... then you can't stop.

true romance, tombstone, anything by wes anderson or stanley kubrick, ed wood, death becomes her, Mars Attacks!, and johnny skidmarks are among the top that can just glue me to my couch.

oh, and Jared Hess cracks me up.

Mark Salisbury said...

There was a time when I actually watched True Romance three times back to back while writing a feature.

Completely agree with you about Ed Wood (my favourite Burton!) and Mars Attacks! (Nicholson! Bening! Brosnan! Portman! Martians!). Those two, like Edward Scissorhands, never lose their power. Ditto Rushmore.

And would have to include Lost In Translation and Out Of Sight too...

Schmid4Brains said...

nice to find someone who likes Mars Attacks! my friends look at me weird when i say that i love that movie. Jack does his best Peter Sellers. I think this movie is a great example of how a star-studded cast can have a ton of fun on a movie and not miss a step (coughoceanstwelevecough).

i live for Bronson Pinchot's line, "Hi. My name's Elliot, and I'm with the Cub Scouts of America and we're selling uncut cocaine to get to the jamboree," in True Romance.

Mark Salisbury said...

There was a time when I practically knew that movie word for word. ("That makes us practically related..." "Sicilians are great liars..." "You got me in a vendetta kind of mood.") Along with The Last Boy Scout, it remains my favourite Tony Scott film.

As for Mars Attacks! I don't understand why people didn't really get it (I mean, I do. ID4 had softened their minds and made it impossible for them to appreciate humour, wit, and irony). There's so much to enjoy: Martin Short and Lisa Marie at the White House; Brosnan and his pipe; the widescale destruction, et al. I laugh like a loon every time I see it. It's Burton at his subversive best.