Aug 30 2010

the big chill

It’s Friday night and I am watching The Big Chill, a blast from my past, 1983. Three years before my son was born. Forever ago.

My son who just got his first “real” job, graduated from college in May, and is now on to a new stage in life.

The Big Chill. A movie about the death of a friend amongst friends, friends my age, or slightly younger. A movie from the time when I worked at a movie theater, and all the movies I played during that time, over and over, are imprinted on my brain in indelible ink.

E.T. Eight weeks, four shows a day. Back To The Future. Risky Business Hated that one, every night having to kick beer-drinking teenagers out of the theater, though some really funny stories come from that. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, the one where Spock dies. I used to go to the door of the theater every night at that exact moment and pull it open, to hear the sound of sobs and sniffles. For some reason, it always made me smile.

Flash Dance. Terms of Endearment. Noticing the fact that Shirley Maclaine’s dress changes as she walks across the airport. Same scene, different dress. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. A whole bunch of senior citizens coming out to the desk demanding their money back. They thought it really was about the meaning of life. Boy, were they surprised.

Oh the memories. The lifting of 30 pound reels of film up over my head, the frantic splicing each time the film broke, the smell of popcorn and coke, the perpetual stickiness of the floor.

Tootsie. Sixteen Candles. Purple Rain. The Breakfast Club. Two movies I have watched many times since then. An Officer and A Gentleman. Ghostbusters. Who you gonna call? Indiana Jones. The Karate Kid. Amadeus. Still one of my favorite all-time movies.

Out of Africa. The movie that never ends. And by that I don’t mean it was long and boring, I mean you never forget it. Footloose. Rambo. A movie that I wish I could forget. The Color Purple. Trading Places. Octopussy. Gremlins. Bright light!

The Outsiders. A Christmas Story. A movie I still watch every Christmas Eve. People were so offended back then, when it came out, portraying Santa in such a bad light. I think there were protests. Harrumph. Dad gummit, flob!

A Passage to India. Silkwood. The Natural. Some classics.

Revenge of the Nerds. Porky’s. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I didn’t need to see any of that, and we won’t even go there.

Never Cry Wolf. Cocoon. Two favorites. Prizzi’s Honor. “Want a cookie, little girl?” I love Anjelica Huston.

Scarface. A movie that scarred me, for life.

Just a little walk down memory lane triggered by an old movie, kept in my back pocket all these years…