Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Weekend Movie Marathon

When I posted on Saturday, I mentioned that my goals for the long weekend were to watch twenty DVD's and finish the Nicholas Sparks novel, At first Sight.  It was already late afternon Saturday and I'd only watched one movie, The Petrified Forest and was half way through the novel.  I was already hopelessly behind and yet I posted the goal intact, thinking it would help me hold myself acountable. 

It may seem like a silly goal and a silly obsession with all the serious stuff going on in the world; in the nation; in my persoal life.  Seem like?  I'm sure it is.  And yet.  I'm not apologizing.  Some of these movies I've been waiting my turn for for months and with the libraries closing the first week of April, I may not get another chance for many many months if not years. 

No one knows how long the libraries will have to stay closed.  They are planning another ballot measure in May.  But I hold little hope of it passing.  Such measres in this valley seldom do.   Representatives, Weldon and DeFazio have introduced House Bill 17 to restore the sefty net monies, which had been partially funding the librarys among many other things.  But there is only moderate hope it will be enacted.  And even if it were, it would still only be a temporary solution.

So, yes, there are more important things going on in the world than my movie marathon.  But that is exactly part of the promblem.  I am worn out with worry.  My worry has added exactly zilch to any solutions.  I'm exahuasted with it.  And one of my resources for healing and stress release has always been stories. 

Then there is the fact that most of these movies, whether just years or many decades old, are first time views for me.  Because I was raised in a fundamentalist religious sect that discouraged going to movies I have a huge culture lacunae.  After discovering that my new laptop, bought a year ago last September, doubled as a DVD player and that our library system had a rapidly expanding collection of new and old movies and documentaries on DVD I started to attack that lacunae like a spider mending its torn web. 

I haven't written about it much here.  I'd been writing book reviews since grade school but I didn't have experience at reviewing films. I barely knew how to watch them--other than to just get lost in the story, which is still, and I hope always will be the main thing. It was that sense of intimidation though that kept me mostly silent about the dozens of movies I've watched in the past year.  Plus it is hard to pick up a movie and thumb thru the scenes to refresh my memory of facts--character's names, dates, locations, actor's names, director's names.  That info crowded onto the DVD cover is in such fine print most of the time I can't read it with a magnifying glass. 

When I set my goal to watch 20 DVDs this weekend, i was figuring on four nights starting with Friday.  But I watched only one Friday night.  And then spent several hours preparing that post Saturday afternoon.  Then I picked up the novel instead of starting a movie.  And I read until I wore out my eyes.  I was getting ready to start a documentarty Sunday morning when my neice arrived.  I spent the next several hours visiting with her about books and moves and music and school and.... It wasn't unil her grandma--my mother-in-law--went to bed Sunday night that we were able to start a DVD.  We watched The Sound of Music and Heidi.  Over five hours of story. 

I will have more to say about The Sound of Music in my Thursday Thirteen this week.  It is a very special movie to me.  One of the few I saw before age 21.  It was a wonderful experience to share it with my thirteen year old neice who was seeing it for the first time herself. 

It was fun to share Heidi with her as well.  I had never seen it either.  But I had read the book when I was in third or fourth grade and I had acted in a play of it in fifth or sixth grade.  I had played the nasty old governess of the invalid Claire.  I still remember that mostly because I got to stamp my feet and yell at the girls who were playing Heidi and Claire--girls who had tormented me for years.  Ah, the simple pleasures of an eleven year old.  Except that simple pleasure had garnered for me the requirement to chastise myself for having a mean spirit for months afterward.

It was four in the morning when Heidi finished.  So it was that I reached Monday morning with only three movies down and seventeen to go.  It wasn't until after my neice left around one Monday afternoon that I got serious.  I watched three documentaries about the Constitution in a row. They were from a series put out by Annenburg for use in classrooms.  I was surprised at how much I sitll didn't know.  I watched them reved up to 1.40 of novrmal speed.  So it took me about ninety minutes to watch two hours of film.

Next came Cold Comfort Farm.  A fun comedy of manners.  It's protagonist fancies herself a budding Jane Austen.  Her talents lie more in the way of manipulating the behavior of those around her and matchmaking--like Austen's Emma--than in writing though.  Ironically, I watched Emma, immediately after Cold Comfort Farm.  Also ironic was that Emma was played by the same actress as the heroine,Flora, of Cold Comfort Farm.

So that is eight.  I was popping Poltergeist into the drive when I decided to stop and write a post first.  I may not get another chance until Tuesday night.  I am watching my husband's grandmother Tuesday morning while my in-laws run errands. 

Sometime before Thursday morning I have to find time for eight more movies, writing and posting my Thursday Thirteen and paying my respects to other T13s.  And there are still the books.  This week there are more movies than books coming due but I have a huge batch of books coming due next week which is why I had hoped to get 20 movies out of the way over the weekend so that I could concentrate on those books I may not see again for a very long time.

I did finish the Sparks novel.

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