There’s nothing like watching a film for the first time. It’s your very first experience with something, and after that one viewing, you won’t share the same feelings with it again. Maybe a surprise won’t jump at you or a kiss won’t thrill you as much because you know it’s coming. But lately I’ve noticed something else about first viewings—they can really suck. Sometimes I wish I could just skip the first time I see a film and go on to the second. For some reason, I just don’t seem to appreciate most films as much the first time as I do the second, third, and fourth time. I’ll give you some examples.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Five summers ago, my mom was given a DVD of TO CATCH A THIEF as a Mother’s Day present. I was just beginning my dive into the world of old films, so I figured I might as well get my hands on this movie. I remember very clearly sitting in my living room on a weekend, with the sun lighting up the room and cool breezes blowing through the screen door. I had to share the room with my dad and my sister, but once the film started, I didn’t even care. It immediately had my attention because of its setting--I’ve always been fascinated with France, and since TO CATCH A THIEF was shot in the beautiful locations of southern France, I was satisfied.
And then there it was—a close-up of the most handsome face I’ve ever seen. Only a fool couldn’t have been hooked by then. It was the first time I ever laid eyes on Cary Grant—it was the first time I had even heard of him!
The next famous face I saw was one I knew: Grace Kelly. The chemistry between her and Cary was so palpable. Not to mention all the double entendres they said. It was all so incredible to me. I didn’t even care when the storyline confused me, I was still so riveted by what was happening. And then it was over. The real cat burglar was revealed by Cary. He and Grace were going to be together (along with her mother—ha!).
A lot of things happened to me that day. It made me even more in love with France. It deepened my affection for old films. It showed me that the best sex scenes have no sex. Most importantly, though, it introduced me to Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, and Alfred Hitchcock. I don’t know what it was about that film, but after I watched it, I just had to investigate this Hitchcock guy. His name was so intriguing, and obviously the guy was important enough to have his name above the film’s title. I don’t remember what Hitchcock film I saw next, or even what Cary Grant or Grace Kelly film I saw after that. In actuality, it doesn’t really matter, because TO CATCH A THIEF opened my eyes to so much. It’s not Hitchcock’s best film. I will readily agree to that. But it’s definitely one of the more important films in my life, and I will forever be grateful for it.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been watching old movies. When I was little, I was obsessed with THE WIZARD OF OZ. I had a Dorothy doll, shiny red shoes, the VHS tape—I even went to a "Wizard of Oz" festival dressed just like Dorothy. To this day, it’s my favorite film.
Thankfully, my mom is a big classic film fan, too. She’s probably the main reason why I’ve found this whole other world called the Golden Age of Hollywood. Every year around Christmas, ever since I can remember, we would watch HOLIDAY INN. More than likely it was my first black-and-white film.
Hello, everybody! Welcome to my very first blog, Love Letters to Old Hollywood. I’m really excited about starting this adventure, and I can’t wait to see the impact it’ll have on me, and hopefully on you, the reader, as well.
Classic films have really become my life. I’ve never been more passionate about something in my life. I used to love photography. I was convinced that I would go to college and major in it. But my love for film was just so overwhelming; the more I learn, the more engrossed I get. Now I don’t know what my plans are for a bachelor’s degree. I just know that I have to do something that connects to my beloved films. Maybe I’ll be a film historian, or maybe I’ll be a librarian.
For the present, though, I’m a college freshman who stumbled across a blog one day called Best of the Past and was instantly enthralled. Then I thought, “How great would it be to have my own blog? One where I can just geek out all the time about my old movies?” And that’s what I plan to do. I don’t know how long I’ll have this blog, or even how successful it’ll be. But hopefully there are classic film fans out there who are looking for other film fans so they can be nerds together. I’m crossing my fingers here that maybe my blog will help me connect with people who feel the same way about the Golden Age of Hollywood as I do. Here’s to the start of a journey!