2003 Movie Milestone

I just realized that this weekend I’ve surpassed the number of movies seen last year (150) and it’s only September!

A new record may be set this year. I only wish that I’d kept a list of films I’d seen when I was working at the video store. 2-3 free movies a night–now that can add up.

2 thoughts on “2003 Movie Milestone

  1. How long do you remember a movie (its plot, how you felt about it, a particular performance, how it looked, the emotions you felt when you watched it)? Is it easier for you to remember a book or a movie? What about an art exhibit?
    I’ve always enjoyed the altered-state feeling of sitting down with a book, starting to read it, and then wondering, Hmmm, did I read this already, years ago? It taps into another level of perception–not quite a real memory, not quite psychic, but something else…This happens with movies sometimes, too, but not as often. Maybe because when you read, you’re
    “seeing” differently (and therefore you create a different type of memory, in a different way) than when you view an image that’s placed before you on a screen.

  2. I too have seen “Dead End” (starring the future Bowery Boys–the same group of kids who appeared in the movie version of “Dead End” also starred in the Broadway play that spawned the movie.) More interesting trivia: In the play, the boys jumped into a net in the orchestra pit, while the assistant stage manager tossed up a bucket of water to mimic their splash into the river. The theatre was too drafty for them to actually jump into a pool. The boys were then covered in oil to make them look wet when they re-emerged onto the stage.
    In the movie, the kids initiated the adults in the film into their “Dead End Club” by tossing them into the water. Bogart, McCrea, and director William Wyler both joined, as did Leslie Howard during a visit to the set.
    The author of the play didn’t work on the movie script–he was busy churning out “Gone with the Wind.” The scriptwriter, Lillian Hellman, had to clean up the play to meet Code restrictions–toned down the salty language, made Joel McCrea’s character a crusading architect who killed Bogart to clean up the streets (in the play, he turned in the killer, “Baby Face” Martin, to earn a reward, whereas in the movie he didn’t even know there was a reward), and deleted scenes showing the abject poverty of the tenements. McCrea’s character was originally self-pitying and embittered, crippled and referred to as Gimpty; his love interest in the play was a minor character; in the movie, she becomes a saintly union marcher. (Hellman, in typical Hellman fashion, referred to this whole matter of softening the play by saying producer Sam Goldwyn wanted her to “cut off its balls.”) And during the filming, Wyler was repeatedly told to make the set cleaner-looking and to stop contrasting the impoverished residents with the wealthy who live in the nearby high-rise.
    This film is criticized today for being stiff and outdated, but I think it holds up remarkably (almost presciently) well.

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