30 Day Film Challenge: Day 7

A Film That Reminds You of Your Past

Before I was this fabulously witty 20-something female whose thoughts so many of you enjoy reading day after day, I was just your typical quiet, kind of nerdy, very moody teenage girl. Back in the early aughts I was  just so over it all, passively reading The New Yorker, knitting, and constantly rolling my eyes at the buffoons that filled my daily life. Several movies remind me of this glorious stage of my life, whether because I watched them all or the time or because I relate to some characters. Especially the ones with supernatural beings. Here they are.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Clueless (1994)

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Ghost World (2001)

Mean Girls (2004)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 6

A Film That Reminds You of Somewhere

This last year I spent more time on Greyhound than anyone should ever have to. Some people probably think this is a sentence worse than death. But I freakishly love bus travel.

My bus travels are marked by the waiting, the constant smell of urine, the angry passengers who just can’t go with the flow, the people watching (so much people watching), the weird dude who will undoubtedly snore, and the unexpected sense of calm that falls over me. Especially if it is around 4 p.m. on a bus bound for upstate NY with only ten other passengers. It is those nearly deserted bus rides that are the best.

I like Greyhound so much that sometimes I am moved to take pictures.

How does my freakish fascination with bus travel relate to movies? As you can imagine, I adore anytime a movies features a bus (except Speed).

Like Bus Stop.

And the “Tiny Dancer” scene in Almost Famous.

And when Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert meet in It Happened One Night

Once again, the movies have set me up to have false expectations about everything and everyone I meet while traveling.

What I like most about buses, if I will attempt to rationalize this, is that they are this confined in-between space.  Even though there is a destination in mind, for a few hours you are just somewhere. And that is what these three movies are about: just somewhere, but really no where importantl. They’re special because of the parts that make the movie.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 5

A Film That Reminds You of Someone

The Godfather always reminds me of my family. This isn’t because we are overwhelmingly Italian-American family. The Real Housewives of New Jersey are more Italian than us. I’ve never even been in a Catholic church.

But The Godfather has this powerful hold over Italian-American families because of the immigrant culture it represents. In that sense, the Corleones are similar to my own family .

There are smaller things that have happened to me related to The Godfather. My mom says that when she first met my grandfather in 70s, she immediately thought that his deep, raspy voice makes him sound just like Vito Corleone. (This is very true.) When I was studying film in college, the first thing some of my family members said to me was, “So, you’re going to make the next Godfather, right?” And for some time, Nino Rota’s score was the ringtone when my father called me.

I couldn’t resist picking two movies for this category. The Harry Potter franchise has not only defined my childhood but also many of my movie-watching experiences. A main reason for that is because of who I see these movies with. (And I’ve seen every Harry Potter movie more times than I can count.)

My sister and I always managed to see the first five movies in the theaters together, even when she was living in Haiti. (She actually introduced me to the books and bought me the first two movies on DVD for my birthday one year.) In college, my friends and I always seemed to settle on Harry Potter for a lazy movie night. When the final installment is released next month, I will most likely be at a midnight showing (despite how much I hate doing that) just because I should see the last movie with good friends.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 4

A Film You Watch to Feel Down

Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow is the most heartbreaking movie I have seen. It is a Depression-era movie that feels all too real, even today. What happens to you when you age and you suddenly become dependent on your children in ways you never expected? The final moments between Bart and Lucy, who I think have the greatest movie marriage because of their undying devotion to one another in spite of their children, are crushing to watch. I cry every time.

Here is how you can participate in the 30 Day Film Challenge. 

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 3

A Film You Watch To Feel Good

Few movies have such a hold over me like Dirty Dancing. I have seen it more than any other movie. I can quote every scene (“I carried a watermelon”) in my sleep. I detest the pachanga because Johnny Castle did. I love the characters, like Lisa, Baby’s pretty much ignored and ridiculous sister. The soundtrack is in constant rotation on my ipod. This is a movie that never fails to put me in a great mood.

When I was younger, I would eagerly watch the Labor Day marathon of Dirty Dancing. Seeing it 12 times in 24 hours was an unlikely achievement so I would time exactly when I had to turn on the movie just to watch the final dance sequence. I would do this over and over again.

Over the years – because I went to Mount Holyoke, because of the appearances of Jerry Orbach and Patrick Swayze, because so many of friends equally adore it – this movie has become all the more sentimental.

You would think the appeal of this movie would wane as I aged. But I only seem to become more fond of Dirty Dancing. As I type this I have started the movie and can hear the beginning of the Ronettes song that opens the film. I am already smiling from ear to ear.

Here is how you can participate in the 30 Day Film Challenge.