Andrew of Encore Entertainment tagged me in a meme, an action that makes me feel like I'm officially in the Oscar Blogger Clique. I am to list off ten cinema facts...about myself. I often write about movies I see, but I don't think I really get into my own personal relationship with Le Cinema too often. Might as well now.
1. First things first, and I think I've mentioned this before: I go to film school. I don't know how I managed this coup, but I did. There was always a desire to be a writer-director, but film school taught me that such a creature is rare indeed. It also taught me that I do not want to be a director at all. The final lesson: though I do not write enough about cinematographers, nor do I pretend to know much about the craft itself...working with a camera is fucking sexy, and when you actually get a scene lit and framed perfectly, you feel like you can accomplish anything, like taming a wild bear.
2. The last time I saw Ghost, I literally bawled out loud, with the sobbing and hiccuping and everything. And this was at a party. I think it should have won Best Picture that year. True, it's been years since I've seen Dances with Wolves, and I love Awakenings and Goodfellas, and I haven't seen The Godfather: Part III. But Ghost, for me, is tops.
3. My first favorite movie was the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi. Universal horror was my bread and butter. The Black Cat, The Wolf Man, The Mummy...I even watched The Mummy's Hand and Tower of London. So it should come as no surprise that I love a lot of horror movies. I find the Franchise That Refuses to Die aspect of the genre charming, thus my adoration of the Saw movies. This love of horror also informs my choice for Favorite Actor of My Entire Life: Vincent Price.
4. I only read books and plays that sound like they'd make good movies. If they aren't already, that is, for most of my reading list consists of movies coming out later in the year. This may be a shallow way of going about literature, but that really covers a broad spectrum.
5. My sister Virginia nurtured my love of cinema. She pointed me to the great actresses: Mae West, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, and so on and so forth. It was she who encouraged me to embrace both classic and modern films. Only Virginia could introduce me to both How to Marry a Millionaire and Party Monster. Once, we even walked together to rent some movies. It was Virginia who took me to see Return of the Jedi and Spice World, and together we managed to make it through The Forgotten. She's an independent filmmaker in Atlanta, so hopefully one of us will have our name in lights in the future.
6. I've only 57 of the original AFI Top 100. I've only seen 61 of the new AFI Top 100. Among the films I've never seen: A Streetcar Named Desire, Schindler's List, Raging Bull, Sunset Boulevard and The Manchurian Candidate. I feel like a partial failure because of this.
7. When I watch a movie, I try to decide how it could translate to the stage. Nixon, for instance, is an opera, as is Elmer Gantry. Eyes Wide Shut is a ballet. I personally love the trend of turning movies into stage musicals, because I'm always thinking that way. The Wedding Singer is a great musical from a great movie; ditto The Producers and Hairspray. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but that's the same with any musical.
8. My celebrity crush of forever is Drew Barrymore. I have a DVD of her wishing me happy birthday at the premiere of Music and Lyrics. She's more than just a pretty face, of course. My favorite performances of hers, in order: The Wedding Singer, Ever After, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Grey Gardens, Everyone Says I Love You, Irreconcilable Differences. Strangely, I've seen none of her work between 1984 and 1995. Also strangely, I hate ET: The Extra-Terrestrial.
9. Top Ten Actresses, in order: Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore, Patricia Clarkson, Bette Davis, Judi Dench, Audrey Hepburn, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Top Ten Actors, in order: Vincent Price, Michael Caine, William Hurt, James Mason, William H. Macy, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Philip Baker Hall, Henry Gibson, Woody Allen
10. Musicals are my absolute favorite. I often feel that music can better express emotions than words. I'm kind of an easy lay when it comes to musicals, too: I count High School Musical and Mamma Mia! as favorites. It absolutely flabbergasts me that musicals don't rake in all the money in the land. It just makes me antsy for adaptations of The Color Purple and Applause. I totally want to make Funny Face.
I'm supposed to tag five people, but I don't really know who hasn't been tagged yet. I'll go with four, at least: TomS, Who is the March King?, Peter Chan, and My Last Oscar