Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Movies

photo-Trevor Hoeghn

"All my life I've had a choice between Hate and Love,
I chose Love!"

--Academy award acceptance speech by A R Rahman upon winning an Oscar for music from "SlumDog Millionaire"

I have always loved movies. As a kid on saturday afternoons we would walk with alot of our friends to the neighborhood theater. I can't remember how much it cost but it was cheap. Now I don't go to the movie theaters too often. Mostly because we never seem to have the time. We watch most movies in the comfort of our own home and use Netflix. That works out well for us. Nice to be able to stop the film, get snacks, go to the bathroom, answer the phone. But every now and then when I get a chance I love to see a movie in a movie theater. There is something special and wonderful about being seated in a huge place with a big wide screen. I love it, the excitement when the room starts to dim and the movie is about to begin. Suddenly you can become so lost in the whole experience. It's grand and magical for me. As a young teen I made movie star scrapbooks. I'd cut out pictures of my favorite movie stars from magazines like "Photoplay" and paste them on the pages with rhinestone stars. I loved Sandra Dee and Paul Newman. My mom loved Oscar night. We would always watch the Academy awards ceremony together. I'd drool over the gowns and the jewels and the hairstyles. I loved "Movie Stars". Once she took me to Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. for a "Movie Premier". The limosines pulled up and we stood behind some roped off area with tons of people all crowded together. I was pretty young but they had those big moving lights that revolved and lit up the sky. I saw Lauren Bacall get out of a car. Her hair was parted to the side and slightly covered one eye. She wore a white fur stole. I thought, "Wow, I'm seeing a real live movie star." In those days it seemed that stars were "beyond human...bigger than life". I was in awe.

Tonight as I watched the Academy awards. I drank Champagne and thought of all the years before. All the times I dressed up and sat with my mom. Then years later how I watched the Oscars with friends at parties. Still later how I watched the awards show year after year with my own daughters. It always was a big deal, dressingup, putting on rhinestones, eating special food, sparkling cider for them in champagne glasses. We always made a night of it even if it fell on a school night. Tonight Aria (in Wisconsin) and I talked by phone at every commercial, laughing, sharing thoughts on dresses, films, and we laughed just like the times we did in the past.
I really liked tonight's program. It felt personal to me. I especially appreciated how past actor/actresses who had won the awards gave a short statement of appreciation to a nominee. It felt much better than just having someone read off a list of nominees and then say "the oscar goes to.." Each person was able to be singled out and have their moment of validation. To me this was as good as a win. They had their moment of recoginition for a job well done. I loved that. I think it is very very important to validate someone's worth. So nice to have them be in the spotlight for one brief moment, win or lose not being the point. Anyway, just had to express that it was a nice night for me. The stars do not appear so God-like any longer but I still like the hoopla and I appreciate all the people that make movies so that we can enjoy, forget ourselves for brief moments, and lose ourselves to fantasy and imagination in the darkness of a theater.


The Luvly Lady said...

You make me wish I had watched tonight. Usually these award shows just really bore me but I just got so lost in your blog! Thanks for that moment of glamour through your memories!

Annie said...

I didn't watch because I hadn't seen any of the movies yet but I really want to see Slumdog very soon. I enjoyed reading your report!

Laurie said...

Before we had our son my husband and I went to a movie EVERY Friday night after work. We saw it all -- and kept up with all the indies and foreign films, so by the time Oscar night rolled around I could really get into it. I used to get together to watch the show with an elderly woman who was one of my closest friends. If we couldn't be together, we'd talk the next morning about all the gowns, hair, speeches, moments. She passed away last year and I think that for the rest of my life I'll watch the show and remember Fran.

barb cabot said...

Laurie, Thanks for leaving this comment. I think alot of people can connect with what you're saying. Before kids movies could not come out fast enough for me. I, like kept up with every film. That must have been a very special friend you had in Fran. Your last sentence made me teary.

girasoli said...

This post made me cry. My mom passed away 9 years ago this past Sunday, the night of the Academy Awards. We used to watch them together whenever we both lived in the same state (when I was growing up and the past few years before she passed away). When we lived in different states, we would always call each other and talk about the awards and the show. It was my mom's favorite award show. This was the first year it fell on the date of her death, which made it extra special, but also a little bit sad. Even though I did not see any of the movies that were up for awards this year, I still enjoyed watching the show.

barb cabot said...

I think in a way it is a nice anniversary and a special way of remembering your mom. I think "our" moms were with us on Oscar night for sure!

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