Truthful Tuesday: Movies

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Frank’s Truthful Tuesday Q & A challenge for this week asks us to spill the beans on our cinematic proclivities:

What three movies best sum up your taste in movies, and why?

To get as close to the Truth as possible, I’m going to expand the question just a tad to what three categories and examples from each sum up my tastes in movies. It’s the best I can do as so many movies crowd into my mind and so many overlap in many ways that I can’t quite decide which are representative of my taste.

proxy-imageSo the first category would be fantasy and science fiction. The films that I like best in this genre try to get at the things that matter in life beyond what we see and taste and feel. They also ask interesting questions about reality and faith. The following movies come to mind: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Blade Runner, The Red Planet, Inception, The Thing and even Kubrick’s The Shining.

The second category would be films that deal with MV5BN2UwYzE3MTMtMmUyNC00YjRlLTlmYzUtMTc5N2ZhZjE4ZTNhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjEzNjY0NTg@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_historical or personal dramas, films that show an ordinary person confronted with an extraordinary or painful event. In the process, he or she realizes strengths and resources that they didn’t know they possessed. Watching these affirm strengths and weaknesses we can all identify with and give us hope. Films that fall into this category for me would be The Thin Red Line, Schindler’s List, The Notebook, Healing River¹, The Fiddler on the Roof, Dark Knight, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs among countless more.

The third category would be comedies.  I absolutely can’t get enough of Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, How to Steal a Million, While You Were Sleeping, The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife, The Princess Bride, Analyze This, America’s Sweethearts and any Buster Keaton movie.

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¹For more on Healing River, see my post for Day 25 of the 30 Day Film Challenge.

Day 26 – My Happy Film

SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge today goes right to the heart of why we watch movies in the first place. Well, don’t know about you, but movies make me happy. The prompt is a film that made you happy — and that would have to be my comfort movie of all time, The Awful Truth (1937).

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Directed by Leo McCarey, it stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, the most witty and charming screen duo in this romantic comedy about a married couple’s unfounded suspicions, loose screws, crossed wires, and the general desperation of love, all with the most exquisite, steadily fraying savoir faire.

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The original black and white maintains all the glamor of color and then some. Quite simply, it’s a hoot!

Continue reading “Day 26 – My Happy Film”

Day 25 – Film That Inspired

In response to SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge today, to wit, a film that inspired you, I like his repartee to the prompt: “Inspired me to what?🤣”

Exactly.

Inspired me to what?

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And that made me think of a movie I saw just in the last month on Amazon Prime: Healing River (2020), written & directed by Mitch Teemley. It’s a religious drama borne out of sudden tragedy. I hesitate to call it “religious” because that brings to mind the Hallmark pablum variety. This is more of a drama in the vein of Mike Nichols’s directorial debut, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). Although it’s no black comedy, Healing River socks it to you with its fluid cinematography, character psychology, acerbic, no-holds barred dialogue and – here’s where the inspiration comes from – brutal honesty about what it means to be a Christian.

Continue reading “Day 25 – Film That Inspired”

Day 23 – Sentimental Film Fave

In response to SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge today, to wit, “a film that means a lot to you personally,” my choice is The Sound of Music, the chief reasons being, it’s the first movie I remember seeing as a child and the musical twice features my Dad’s favorite English song, “Edelweiss,” and I always think of him when I hear it.

It made such an impression on me personally that when I think of the whole theater experience, the vibrant voices and colors, the music, the excitement, and the sensation of life magnified and spread all around me on the big screen, it’s this one that comes first to mind.

After all these years, the movie still holds its own!

Continue reading “Day 23 – Sentimental Film Fave”

Day 22 – Fave Fantasy Movie (just now)

In response to SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge for Day 22, and interpreting fantasy to include sci-fi as well, today I’ve got to go with Red Planet (2000). It’s a science fiction thriller directed by Antony Hoffman, written by Chuck Pfarrer, and starring Val Kilmer & Carrie-Anne Moss, with Terence Stamp.

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Okay, maybe also Blade Runner (1982), another science fiction thriller but directed by Ridley Scott and based on a novel by Phillip K. Dick, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer.

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It’s a tie then, because both are terribly entertaining and the plots keep your heart pumping, and the images and landscapes are mesmerizing, but by the time the credits are rolling, they’ve also got you thinking about the choices we make, the judgments we’re driven to, and the nature of life and what we make of it. As Bud Chantilas (played by Terence Stamp), an aging scientist and surgeon in Red Planet, asks one of the main characters, Robby Gallagher,

Chantilas: [Suppose] we just finished poisoning the earth and everyone was dead in a hundred years. Then what was the point of anything? Art, beauty-all gone-the Greeks, the Constitution, people dying for freedom, ideas. None of it meant anything? What about religion? Do we give up on God too?

Gallagher: You didn’t just give up being a scientist one day, did you?

Chantilas: I realized science couldn’t answer any of the really interesting questions. So, I turned to philosophy. I’ve been searching for God ever since. Who knows, I may pick up a rock and it’ll say underneath, “Made by God.” The universe is full of surprises.

And in Blade Runner, Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) reflects on the AI that he had been hired to hunt down and kill:

Deckard: [narrating] I don’t know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life – anybody’s life; my life. All he’d wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.

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