Getting to Know You--I Mean, Me. Not You. Me. Or Both?

Don't panic. I've changed the background, the colors...and pretty much nothing else because I have no clue how most of this stuff works. I realized I have had this blog for almost a year now (whaaaat?) and I’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s been a great outlet for me to gush about films and every day I’m thinking about some new post idea or I’ll be watching a movie and suddenly decide to take notes for a review. Although you wonderful readers out there haven’t been as vocal as I’d like (I like discussing things…you like reading things…let’s get together), I’m not just going to shut down this whole enterprise and become disheartened. Mostly because the ghost of Kate Hepburn would kick me and tell me to stop being such a sap. So, in honor of my upcoming one-year anniversary, I thought I’d tell you all some things about me (all classic film-related, of course).

1. I love coffee table books.
They’re big. They’re gorgeous. I could just stare at them all day. It saddens me that brand-new ones are almost always expensive, but fortunately, I seem to get older ones that just fall into my hands without me looking for them. Just yesterday, my brother-in-law gave me a book about Warner Bros. films that he found in his grandmother’s shed. A few years ago, I went into a vintage shop and stumbled upon a great book about movie musicals for just $8. Feel free to donate to the cause.

2. I adore scenes that take place in the rain.
Cliché, I know. But I can’t help it. I love rain—the look of it, the sound of it, everything. So when I see a romantic scene play out in the rain, I get a little excited. The gold standard: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You get a great speech from George Peppard, magnificent acting from Audrey Hepburn, the reunion with the adorable Cat, and the gorgeous “Moon River” playing as Audrey and George kiss. So much perfection.

3. I’m going through a 1960’s phase right now.
I go through phases with movies, as I’m sure we all do. Sometimes all I want to watch is a musical for a week straight, or maybe I’ll discover a certain actor and I try to snatch up as much of his/her work that I can find. My current obsession is 1960’s stuff, specifically romantic comedies. Usually I don’t buy DVDs that I haven’t already seen and therefore know they’re worth buying, but this ‘60s thing has made me more impulsive than usual. So far I’ve only ordered What a Way to Go! and Sunday in New York, but I can’t trust myself around Amazon right now. Which leads me to my next fact…

4. I have a severe DVD addiction.
My parents don’t understand it…which is sad when you consider that they don’t even know how bad it is. I may or may not check the tracking numbers on all my orders so I know exactly when said orders are arriving so I can run to the mailbox and hide the package before my parents see it. Totally normal, right? But I can’t help it. I love movies, and I can’t keep clogging up the DVR (I already have at least 30 movies on there—and counting), therefore I technically have to buy real copies of them. I’m doing this for you, Mom and Dad.

5. Try as I might, I cannot get into foreign films.
I’m sorry, you foreign film lovers. I really am. I want to be able to discuss the merits of Bergman, Rossellini, and Fellini, but I just can’t do it. First of all, they are depressing as hell. Secondly, they usually have long silences with people not doing much. And thirdly…just no. I love Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless a lot, and I really enjoyed Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast (despite my high school French class just not getting it at all). And although it’s not that old, I absolutely love Amelie. As for the rest, sorry boys, but I’m out.

6. I could never tell you my favorite musical.
Not because it’s some big secret, but because I honestly love way too many too much. The Wizard of Oz may be my all-time favorite film, but I’m not so sure it’s my all-time fave musical. I mean, how could I pick Kiss Me, Kate over Easter Parade or vice versa? Do I go with Summer Stock or Singin’ in the Rain? How about Girl Crazy? Dangerous When Wet? The Band Wagon? Oh god, what about the Astaire-Rogers films?! I’m already having a panic attack.

7. I could watch Sabrina constantly and never get tired of it.
Sabrina is basically perfect in my eyes. Filmed beautifully in black-and-white by my second favorite director Billy Wilder, and starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden, you can’t go wrong. This is also the film that introduced me to Edith Piaf, thanks to a great moment where Audrey sings “La Vie en Rose” to Bogie. I love it all so much.

8. I’m not totally sold on Irene Dunne.
Did I hear a gasp? Not loving Irene Dunne feels blasphemous, to be honest. Every time I read about her, people gush over her comic timing, her dramatic skills, her singing, yadda yadda yadda. I’m just not that impressed. I love The Awful Truth and My Favorite Wife—they’re great. But I didn’t watch them for Irene, I watched them solely for Cary. I don’t know what it is about Dunne that seems to block me from really liking her. She has this regal air, much like my beloved Katharine Hepburn, but instead of endearing me to her, it makes me see her as snooty. Sorry, Irene fans.

9. Brief Encounter leaves me cold.
Another thing that goes against everything else I’ve heard. Granted, I only watched the movie once, but it didn’t do anything for me. It was directed wonderfully by David Lean and the cinematography is beautiful, as well as the performances. However, I wasn’t swept into the romance or anything like that. I would much rather watch The Apartment, the film Billy Wilder was inspired to make after watching Brief Encounter and wondering about the guy who lent Trevor Howard his apartment for an evening tryst.

10. I randomly get song snippets or quotes that pop in my head.
Most of the time, I don’t immediately recognize where the song or quote comes from, so naturally I drive myself crazy trying to figure it out. This happens a lot, actually. I’ll wake up to “You’re Just in Love” from Call Me Madam on a loop in my brain, or I’ll be walking my dog and suddenly say a quote from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (to myself, you will note). Just this morning during my shower, I inexplicably had “Why Am I So Gone About That Girl?” from Les Girls playing in my head. Why? No clue. It’s one of the hazards of being a cinephile.


11. If a girl becomes hysterical and/or useless to helping the hero, I lose sympathy.
If you’re meant to be with Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power or any other swashbuckler/cowboy/whatever, you should be able to help the guy out when he’s in trouble. It grates on my nerves so much when I see the supposed heroine just standing there gaping as the hero does all the work. You seriously can’t pick up a rock or a stick or some kind of weapon and help a fella out? At least Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) masterminded the plot to free Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) after his arrest. And thank you, Maureen O’Hara, for not being afraid to show the boys that you can swordfight, too. If Grace Kelly’s Quaker wife in High Noon can overcome her religious beliefs to shoot the man about to murder her husband, then I think Gloria Stuart’s character can help her husband fight off Boris Karloff in The Old, Dark House.

With love,
Michaela

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