Friday, January 9, 2015
An Introduction: What the heck am I doing here?
Happy New Year!
And thank you for joining me here, in my New Year's Resolution. Don't worry, I won't be telling you about my diet, workouts, or endeavors to clean my closet. The end of 2014 brought me many new adventures and changes including moving from Baltimore back to my hometown of Boston. As always when I am faced with change, I feel a mix of bittersweet emotions; uncertainty and excitement, anxiety and motivation to begin, seemingly, all over again. During this strange time I am desperate for a little consistency, structure, and honestly a bit of comfort in familiarity. I am a writer. That is not only what I do but also a very large part of who I am. And as any writer will tell you, to be a writer ya gotta WRITE. And often. There is a lot to be said for writing in a journal when the only audience is yourself—but writing for an audience—that brings things to a whole new level. So my New Year’s Resolution is start this new blog, and be dedicated to it, and to you. I am going to write to you and I promise, the goal here is not just to keep the rust off my proverbial pen (well, I do hand write each of these posts). Every week I’m going to share with you one of my other passions, movies!
In the description of this blog I mention the “sacred ceremony” of watching a film. And in my family, it really is! Our favorite family pass time is enjoying a movie together. We have our traditions; Home Alone after Thanksgiving Dinner (Dad laughs at it every year like it’s the first time), or White Christmas during the cookie-making preparation before Christmas, Hitchcock during Halloween, and the list goes on. But even the most mundane occasions (like a chilly Thursday evening) can turn into something special when my family comes together to be transported to another place and time. I think we watch at least one movie a week. I remember during the muggy Massachusetts summers when it was just too hot to do anything, my mom and I would go to see whatever was playing at the local Tyngsboro cinema just to escape the heat (The Simpsons Movie and The Medallion were two such… let’s call them “memorable” features). Most of the time it didn't quite matter what we were watching, it mattered that we were doing it together. The drive home was always the best part, besides the movie theater popcorn, because our Roger and Ebert-like discussion always lasted to whole ride. And through the course of our cinematic adventures, we have found some real gems that have turned into family favorites. I’ll give you an example. My mom was the one who introduced me to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. When she first suggested The Fellowship of the Ring (the first of the trilogy, and the only one that had been released onto DVD at the time) my sister and I put on the breaks and tried to whine our way out of it. I don’t know how your family works, but whining at my mom rarely gets me very far. And thank God! We watch and I fell in love. I immediately read the books and became an LOTR nerd to the max (just ask my sister, she’s got some pretty funny stories she would love to embarrass me with). So what started as a way to pass a low-key night during winter vacation quickly turned into one of my all-time favorite obsessions. Thanks, Mom!
Technology has been a blessing and a curse for movie-buffs. Never before have movies been more accessible and our options as viewers are endless. The other day I had a couple of hours before meeting a friend for dinner so I decided to pick a flick to pass the time. I wasn't hankering anything in particular; I just wanted to be entertained. The DVD collection didn't offer any viable solutions… so I switched to Netflix. There were so many options there and I hadn't heard about before that I quickly spent over half an hour browsing, but still no luck. I even tried looking a couple of the titles up on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB but there were either spoiler alerts that prevented me from reading the summary or a ranking based on box-office results or how successfully (and/or sexy) the actors in the film were in their career, but nothing substantial about the plot or message of the movie! Not helpful. Switching gears, I switched to the free On Demand option available with our cable package. More of the same. Before I knew it, I didn't have enough time to watch a movie (without skipping the ending). And so, while my craving for a good movie was not to be satisfied, my blog idea was born.
Here’s the deal: My goal is for this blog to be a resource, a catalog of worthy films and what kind of occasion or company they pair with. I see myself as a kind of chef pairing a great meal with a fine wine. Each month will have a loose theme that guides my recommendations. The movies I talk about won’t always be the blockbusters currently in theaters, but instead the movies you can find any night of the week that have some special quality that I think you will enjoy. I hope that if you decide to try out one of my recommendations that you let me know how it goes! Feel free to leave comments and recommendations of your own! Just remember, no spoilers, and if you wouldn't put it on Grandma’s coffee table, please don’t put it on my blog (aka keep it classy, folks).
So let’s get started in this cinematic endeavor! Pop that popcorn and let the cine-a-thon begin.