Friday, December 29, 2006

The Trim Bin #53 (Joyeux Anniversaire!)

You don't often hear the phrase "Opens December 25 in New York, LA and North Adams." So my top ten for 2006 will be completed in several weeks, after the most talked-about films have made their way to Images or the Spectrum 8. Until then, I thought I'd share my favorite film-related experiences in 2006.

- When asked by coworkers what I did last weekend, I sometimes notice a flicker of concern in their expressions when I explain that I drove three hours to see a scratchy print of a twenty-year-old movie that I could have simply popped into my DVD player in the comfort of my own home. Repertory screenings are an integral part of my love of film; the reasons are partly philosophical, but mostly it's just pure geek joy. There's something about it that just transports me, and I don't quite know how to describe it except to say that it's magic. The most memorable classic screenings this year include Jaws and Ed Wood at Pothole Pictures; Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Terminator 2 and The Lost Boys at Cinemark's Friday Night Rewind; Nosferatu and Rosemary's Baby at the Brattle; 2001 and Jurassic Park at the Mahaiwe; and The Shining at Images.

But more than any one screening, one of the most amazing film experiences in 2006 was my ten-day, eight-film adventure in May with the missus. In a journey that spanned Northampton, Cambridge and Shelburne Falls, we attended screenings of Blue Velvet, Pink Flamingos, The Piano, My Own Private Idaho, Badlands, Days of Heaven, King Kong and Full Metal Jacket. Between the aftermath of my college graduation and our impending marriage, our sensory deprivation-like immersion in a nonstop celluloid orgy not only kept us sane, it also reminded us why we fell for each other in the first place.

- The single most surreal moment of 2006: sitting in the '62 Center, waiting for a panel discussion of female documentarians (part of the Extreme Documentary weekend) to begin and lost in my own thoughts, I absentmindedly look to my right, and see Werner Herzog sitting two seats away and staring back at me. I find myself unable to form anything resembling a coherent thought, so I offer a polite head nod, which Herzog returns. I turn my gaze forward, and spend the next two hours resisting the urge to look to my right.

- This was also a year of some small but important steps towards eliminating that pesky qualifier "aspiring" from "filmmaker." I heart Jonathan Caouette, who was kind enough to accept copies of our work (it almost doesn't matter if he watched it - it was just nice to have the encouragement). As for the extra work, The Departed is one of the best movies of 2006 and The Game Plan is almost certainly going to be one of the worst movies of 2007, but it doesn't matter either way, because I now understand how a movie is made in a way that simply can't be taught in a classroom. And I'm proudest of Chrissie, and of the work yet to come.

- As for the movies released this year: as always, there was a lot of filler and overhyped studio product. But I've seen five new classics this year, and a dozen other memorable gems that I'm sure I'll revisit in the years to come. And as I've said, I've haven't seen everything yet! So it's been a good year, and 2007 promises to be a better one. I'm going to make movies, and I'm going to be a dad. Not bad at all.

Thanks for reading. See you next year.

Films watched this week:

World Trade Center 4
Gremlins 10
Badlands 10
Scrooge (1970) 8
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 6
The Ice Harvest 8
Dune (1984) 9
12 Monkeys 10
Mulholland Drive 10

No comments: