My love of movies began early – I wish I could remember which movie was my first “classic” but the fact is, I have no idea. If I had to guess, I’d say The Wizard of Oz just because it’s one of my mom’s favorites and I bet that’s the movie she’d pick to show me.
In my house, old movies were just what we watched. My dad liked John Wayne movies and my mom liked Cary Grant. I think it’s lucky my parents’ tastes were on opposite ends of the spectrum. It made me more open to seeing everything else in between.
It wasn’t until middle school that I even figured out most people my age didn’t watch old movies. That’s probably part of the reason I began watching them even more. It just became my thing. I probably rented every video (remember videos?) in the “classics” section at my local rental place. When I ran out of movies, I’d just re-rent them. I’m sure they wondered why I kept re-renting Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window….it was in moratorium at the time and I couldn’t get my own copy. Since I couldn’t have it – it became the one I wanted most. I’d stray into the new movies from time to time but by then I was well on my way to feeling snobby about old movies…being a teenager added to that I’m sure. I’m much, much better now….I swear. I can thank my husband for that – he likes new movies and sometimes I’ll admit they’re not bad.
For a while I needed to see all the Marx Brothers movies. Then I needed to see all of Alfred Hitchcock’s…next came a Billy Wilder phase….and John Ford…oh, and Howard Hawks. I do keep going back to Hitchcock though – there’s just so much to find in his films. The first semester of my senior year, my school tested a film class. My freak-dom never shined so bright. It turned out to be a good experience because everyone actually seemed interested which gave me hope.
When I went to college, I decided on an English major to keep my options open. Luckily for me, film classes were under the English department at my school. Because of this, many of my film classes counted towards English as well. This might seem strange – but I wrote far more papers in my film classes. The actual English classes focused much more on making sure we read. Anyways, I had at least one film class every semester…usually two and one glorious semester, I had three. At the end, I wound up being one credit short of a double major with Film Studies. It would take an extra semester to get it. To the dismay of my advisor who was really excited to tell me this…I chose not to pursue it. The debt created by my first four years was quite daunting as it was. It doesn’t really matter. I only planned on a film minor in the first place – the major would’ve just been nice to have for bragging rights. I guess I’m just mentioning it to point out that whenever I can, this is the topic I try to learn more about….apparently enough to merit a degree. If only they counted my extracurricular studies!!!
To anyone who knows me personally, I have a huge collection of books as well as DVDs. I freely admit that when I worked at Borders Books during high school and college….I took FULL advantage of my discount (and ability to order whatever we didn’t carry). So if anything I write about sparks an interest, odds are I’ve got both the movie and a relevant book you could borrow. Especially all things Hitchcock.
I’m starting this blog purely for the fun of it. I tend not to write very academically. First, I am way out of practice (not that I was ever so wonderful in the first place!). But really,while I love digging into all the symbolism and noticing the significance of lighting and camera movements and mise-en-scène….I also believe a film’s primary purpose is to entertain. I don’t like to strip too much of that away. Besides, this blog is for fun and won’t be graded (judged perhaps).
For the sake of having a goal – I’d like to meet others who also love old movies and to encourage those who don’t to give them a try. If anyone sees a movie they otherwise wouldn’t have – that would just make my day.
I also love recommendations – while I love all the movies I write about, I’ve seen them over and over….and over again. I love finding new ones to love. So, if you think there’s a move I haven’t seen that I’d like – please share!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!