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I’m now on day seven of the Throat of the 1000 Glass Shards so lately my experiences are severely limited to Internet fun and movies on TV. Right now I’m watching When Harry Met Sally… and am dismayed to discover that I am now the same age that they are for the final 3/4ths of the movie. I remember thinking how OLD they seemed, how grown up and established and professional with outfits and nice winter gloves and such. And now…I totally and horrifyingly relate.  It makes me wonder what other “grown-ups” from TV and movies I’m older than or the same age as now… I’m older than Mary in the Mary Tyler Moore Show already. Older than Tom Hanks in Big? Older than Archie Bunker?? (ok, prolly not that last one. Yet.)

Oh well. One of the doctors I saw this week thought I was 24. So there. And WHMS is still one of my favorite movies.

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Yes yes another movie list…I do like them so. This one is Entertainment Weekly’s 100 New Classics (new = from the last 25 years). Bold titles are the ones I’ve seen. I’m sort of surprised that there are so many I haven’t seen yet, though if I’m honest with myself, I don’t really want to see many of the non-bold movies.

I’m not sure I even agree whole heartedly with the list. Why so many sequels?

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998 )
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988 )
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler’s List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998 )
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988 )
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004) [added June 21]
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988 )
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988 )
53. The Truman Show (1998 )
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998 )
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988 )
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Work is still sucking out my soul so I don’t have much to write in the way of real life, but my weekend was filled to the brim with escapism in the form of movies, highlighted by the Oscars Sunday night. I went to the AMC Theaters’ Best Picture movie marathon on Saturday and found myself not very invested in any of the films that were up this year. Yeah, I guess No Country for Old Men was as good enough as any so I’m not bitter about the win, but I wasn’t particularly blown away (no pun intended) either. Time may prove it to be a deserved, Oh They Got it Right That Year film or not. Looking at this list, it’s sort of a crap shoot.

I like lists and I like movies and I like checking things off lists, especially if they are movies. So here are all the Best Picture winners and, inspired by that library girl, those in bold are the ones I’ve seen.

1927/28: Wings
1928/29: The Broadway Melody
1929/30: All Quiet on the Western Front
1930/3: Cimarron
1931/32: Grand Hotel
1932/33: Cavalcade
1934: It Happened One Night
1936: The Great Ziegfeld
1937: The Life of Emile Zola
1938: You Can’t Take It with You
1939: Gone with the Wind
1940: Rebecca
1941: How Green Was My Valley
1942: Mrs. Miniver
1943: Casablanca
1944: Going My Way
1945: The Lost Weekend
1946: The Best Years of Our Lives
1947: Gentleman’s Agreement
1948: Hamlet
1949: All the King’s Men
1950: All about Eve
1951: An American in Paris
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth
1953: From Here to Eternity
1954: On the Waterfront
1955: Marty
1956: Around the World in 80 Days
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958: Gigi
1959: Ben-Hur
1960: The Apartment
1961: West Side Story
1962: Lawrence of Arabia
1963: Tom Jones
1964: My Fair Lady
1965: The Sound of Music
1966: A Man for All Seasons
1967: In the Heat of the Night
1968: Oliver!
1969: Midnight Cowboy
1970: Patton
1971: The French Connection
1972: The Godfather
1973: The Sting
1974: The Godfather Part II
1975: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976: Rocky
1977: Annie Hall
1978: The Deer Hunter
1979:Kramer vs. Kramer
1980: Ordinary People
1981: Chariots of Fire
1982: Gandhi
1983: Terms of Endearment
1984: Amadeus
1985: Out of Africa
1986 : Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1989: Driving Miss Daisy
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: The Silence of the Lambs
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1996:The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Shakespeare in Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: A Beautiful Mind
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2005: Crash
2006: The Departed
2007: No Country for Old Men

Most of the time I  truly enjoy living alone. There are times that I really hate it though. Like when there are giant bugs or spiders that need to be addressed, for example. Or when there is heavy lifting to do. Or when I can’t figure out what to wear.  And of course when Magellan barfs all over the place. Obviously.

However, the worst is when it is almost 2am and I have to be awake in a few hours, but I’m feeling slightly ill from the unfortunate combination of having a migraine, the side effects of the migraine meds that don’t really help but that I take in an effort to feel proactive, and the giant pile of unwashed dishes in the sink (abandoned there due to the migraine) that smelled like delicious dinner 6 hours ago, but now just smells like a horrid mix of cat food and onions and fish and asparagus all mixed together.   Add on top of that the very poor decision to watch 2 zombie movies in the last 3 days and an overactive imagination and you have an Up-All-Night Keem, which will soon turn into a Very-Short-Fused-and-Needlessly-Snappish Keem, which is sure to be a delight for everyone I encounter tomorrow.

Maybe tomorrow will get canceled and I can just sleep all day (once the sun comes up to protect me from the zombies, of course) and then we can just skip on over to Wednesday. Also maybe elves will come do those dishes for me.  It could happen…

Even though the next semester is looming large in only a few weeks, there are lots of things to be excited and happy about right now, not the least of which is that no less than three (count ’em three) members of my friend-family are starting exciting new career-furthering jobs in the next month. Hooray and congrats to all of them.

Other things I’m pretty jazzed about right now:

The understated, sneakily moving, music-filled delight that is this movie. I want the soundtrack immediately. Running constantly, please.

According to this, Sunny is coming to DVD! Hooray.

Finally finally the food scientists have listened to my silent pleas. I need to get my hands on this as soon as possible.

Also, meerkats.

I don’t mean to alarm you, but I think I might have magical powers. First, I was thinking about a particular episode of Gilmore Girls — the one where Lane dyes her hair. I was trying to remember what color — and then that episode came on! (It was purple, BTW. Her hair, not the show).  A few hours later I was thinking about the episode of Sex and the City where Aiden and Carrie get into a huge fight in front of that fountain, all “If you don’t want to marry me now, you never will”, and then she tip-toes into where he is sleeping — I always though the way she tip-toes in is so weird looking — and then that episode came on too! THEN I started thinking about Bob Fosse (as one tends to do) and  Kiss Me Kate came on TV! Eerie.  I’m telling you, if you have never seen it, it is totally worth it just to see Fosse’s dance duet in “From This Moment On”. Plus the delightful Cole Porter-ness. And while you are there you can witness the tiny teensiosity of itty bitty Kathryn Grayson and the amazing voice of Howard Keel. You know what, rent it.  Really, it’s great.

But my point is this: I have this magical ability and now I need to figure out how to use it for good (saving puppies’ lives, making me money) instead of evil (watching TV all evening).  So let me know if there is anything you are hankering to see on TV and I’ll hook you up. Only $25 a show.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means one thing: it is rainy. Oh, and big sales, mostly of the furniture variety. Well, it also means remembering those who sacrificed their lives, of course. And it also unofficially means the beginning of summer. Summertime, whoooooo!

Summer actually started two weeks ago for me and I already feel like I’ve embraced it like a champ. So far I’ve gotten out of town, visited friends and drank too much (all accomplished last weekend in Chicago), I’ve gotten the start of a lovely farmer tan from walking to work, I’ve grilled out with friends, eaten ice cream while sitting on a bench, and spent entire days watching TV and reading and not leaving the house once. All things considered, I’d say I’m ahead of the curve with lots to look forward to. Summer months always fly by, and it’s odd to think of all that will have happened by the time September rolls around — a few showers (baby and bridal), a couple weddings, friends moving away, car trips (maybe plane trips!), out of town visitors, and most excitingly, my first nephew. Oh yeah, and summer school.

That really is a lot of stuff to look forward to, so I am abandoning my original goal of watching 100 movies before school starts in August. Even with my superpower of being able to watch 4 movies in 4 hours I don’t think I’ll have the time. As I consider a new and worthy cinema-related goal (suggestions are welcome), enjoy this viral video counting down…well, numbers. I’ve only seen 75 of the movies featured BTW. How many can you identify?

* Go to IMDB.com and look up 10 of your favorite movies.
* Post three official IMDB “Plot Keywords” for these 10 picks.
* Have your friends guess the movie titles.

1. Diction Lessons/Umbrella/Hollywood
2. Monkey/Whip/Melting Face
3. Mansion/Blackmail/Candlestick
4. Leg in Cast/Photographer/Dog Killed
5. Breaking the Fourth Wall/ Italian Food/Witness Protection Program
6. Casino/Caper/Wheelchair
7. Hat/Double Cross/ Neo Noir
8. Socialite/Swimming Pool/Wedding
9. Sister/Based on Novel/Inheritance
10. Revenge/Horse Racing/Twist in the End

I tried to pick the keywords I would use if I was trying to remind someone that they saw these movies. “You know…there’s horse racing and that twist in the end…Come on! We saw it together!”Like that.

Taken from the ever-missed Sunday

Update: Answers are in the comments.

Last night I went to E & SB’s for dinner and then to the movies to see The Queen (which I highly recommend for the acting, for the direction, for the costumes, for the seamless archival video integration, the list goes on and on). Dinner was great – fennel pork loin and mashed parsnips and a wilted spinach/goat cheese salad – and the company was delightful.

Back when I was working as a character, my favorite guests were the ones that seemed just as excited to see us as they were to ride the roller coasters. These kids would seriously act like they were meeting their heroes, oftentimes whispering secrets or “I love you’s” into our giant ears. But the BEST were the ones that brought gifts for us, such as drawings and food. Bugs would get carrots, of course. Daffy got sardines and goldfish crackers. Sylvester got cans of tuna and cat-food. One afternoon, Sly was getting hugs from a little kid who was having a hard time moving on, so after his parents urged him once again to let someone else have a turn, the kid started petting Sly’s face (like you would a real cat) and whispering the something like the following:

“Sylvester, if you want you can come home with me and I will love you, and pet you, and play with you, and scratch your tummy, and brush you and you can eat ROAST PORK!”

Sadly, the allure of what was obviously a Very Special Dinner in that kid’s household was not enough to lure Sly away from his home at the park. But it was enough to send him into convulsive giggles.

Over the last two days I’ve watched three well-made but very different movies — A Mighty Wind, the newest remake of Pride and Prejudice, and Children of Men — and it got me thinking about my taste in movies. I’ve always said that I can pretty much find SOMEthing to like about every movie, whether it be costumes or camerawork or special effects.  I’m also very interested in movie “chatter” – I like Premiere and Entertainment Weekly and make my daily trips to IMDB and Cinematical. The plain fact is that I love movies, I love watching movies, and I like thinking about movies. I am pretty sure this comes from a childhood spent obsessively watching movies (on Beta, natch) until they were committed to memory, credit music and all. Anything that took up that much time and brainspace MUST be worthwhile, right?

The thing about these particular three movies is that they were all good examples of what they were “supposed” to be and I fell right into them all, with little trouble switching gears between them. I doubt anyone would rent Pride and Prejudice and be shocked at the romantic wordplay and swoony resolutions, or be surprised by the frank grittyness presented by Alfonso Cuaron,  and A Mighty Wind did exactly what it was supposed to do to me – it made me laugh out loud and then made me want to listen to my folk and bluegrass albums.  I’m just not sure if my willingness to be pulled deeply into all of these worlds within hours of each other speaks more of the power of these movies, or of the willingness (weakness?) of my brain to slip quickly into the false worlds and suspensions of belief required in truly satisfying movie-watching. If the latter, then I’m sure it is due to years and years of practice accepting whatever the artists were trying to convey as worth my time and effort.

I also watched 3 other great movies in the last two days (hey, it’s winter break): Guys and Dolls, West Side Story and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. Ah the secret is out, I love the musicals.  Now these are three particularly great musicals and they also happen to be three very different kinds of movies. Yes, there is singing and dancing in all, but the difference in feeling and emotion between 7 Brides and West Side Story is as wide as the difference between Children of Men and A Mighty Wind. Don’t get me started on people who declare all musicals unworthy – they have not given musicals a chance. You don’t have to love them, or get them, or choose them, but you do have to appreciate the artistry. But that is a rant for a different day.

My point is this (yes, I have one): I think my early childhood  exposure to the highly improbable and essentially fantastical worlds of musicals (and pretty much any other movie I could get my hands on) honed my brain to be more easily adaptable to other kinds of films.  I have no proof, and I doubt anyone would take the time to study such a thing, but it’s better than even money that those formative years had something to do with it.

Makes me worry about the kids today growing up on Wife Swap and Scary Movie 4. Who is going to make my movies for me when I’m 70?