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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm little but I'm old: the Movie Marathon update

The Movie Maven's Movie Marathon for America was a lot of fun. Good company, good movies, lots of chips and candy and a little conversation about politics and movies.

It was great to be surrounded by wonderful people in the comfort of my own living room.

Thank you to namastenancy, the famous Greg of the N-Judah Chronicles, the kind and generous dutchbaby, my gourmet popcorn queen Amber and her world traveling hubby Mike, a new friend Tim and his friend Thalia, the mysterious A. and the lovely new mommy Ms. Wellspring and her adorable three-week old Peach. And all of you who attended in spirit, including Paris Parfait and Christina.

I felt very fortunate that The Peach made her first real outing by choosing to attend a fundraising event at my house. She brought us good luck.

All in all, we raised about $500 for "That One." Not bad for a day of eating carbohydrates and sitting in a dark room for hours.

We watched four movies: Dick, Lost in America (those were our two wry comedies), and then The Manchurian Candidate and The Conversation (to fulfill our paranoia/on location in San Francisco requirements).

The other film I would have loved to have watched with the group was To Kill a Mockingbird, but we just ran out of time. So I watched it by myself the next day.


I absolutely adore this film, and the book I've read quite a few times since I first discovered it in junior high school. I don't know how many times I've seen the movie, but just the haunting and innocent film score by Elmer Bernstein alone makes me want to watch it.

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

"The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash."

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

The first clip below is the movie score, the other two are brief but powerful scenes from the film.


Anonymous October 14, 2008 at 10:34 AM  

TKAM - whether in written or film format - is my #1 favorite of all time. I read it every 5 years or so, just to remind me what storytelling is all about. I'm about due again. Ms. Lee's style is the epitome of writing perfection, weaving such an incredibly complex story with such an economic use of words, and easy, accessible language.

Movies made from books never did the former any justice, as far as I was concerned. Until I saw the film version of this book. Who but Gregory Peck could possible be the absolute incarnation of Atticus Finch? And the story is likewise told in a steady, forthright, conversational fashion, with all the drama arising from the situations, not the acting. [The scene of the rabid dog has haunted me from the first time I read it.]

Whenever I read or see TKAM, it never fails to make me question my arrogance at thinking I might also be a writer.

willow October 14, 2008 at 11:35 AM  

Yes, this is one film adaptation from a book that is marvelous. It is perfectly cast. Peck is completely Atticus Finch. The children are absolutely delightful and are complete naturals. You've made me want to dust off my copy and watch it tonight!

Have you heard it rumored that Truman Capote actually wrote large portions of the book as a favor to Harper Lee? I doubt there's any truth to it, but it's interesting, none the less.

dutchbaby October 14, 2008 at 2:36 PM  

Thank you, tangobaby, for a lovely time. I loved watching Manchurian Candidate with y'all; I especially liked hearing the remarks from the first-time watchers. It was a pleasure meeting everyone. I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone when I say that The Peach is every bit as precious as you could imagine, and then some.

Thanks for cooking up the creative way to raise money.

Christina October 14, 2008 at 2:40 PM  

I am going to have to watch this classic again, it's been so long ago, that I have seen it.

I was thinking of you all, and wishing you the best for the day. So glad it went well.

I even had junior mints Saturday, in honor of you.

smith kaich jones October 14, 2008 at 3:27 PM  

To Kill a Mockingbird. Best movie ever. And Atticus is the hero of all heroes. October is the perfect month for this movie - that last scene just gives me chills thinking about it.

Maybe not tonight, but definitely this weekend.

Oh! And that scene where Scout is told to stand up - "your father's passin'". OH. I could cry.


Relyn October 14, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

Of course, I also love To Kill a Mockingbird. Who doesn't? Don't you adore Gregory Peck? I really enjoy a good audiobook, and I wanted to tell you about the newest recording of TKAM. Sissy Spacek is the narrator and it is completely wonderful!

A little movie factoid about Robert Duvall, who was perfect as Boo Radley. I heard commentary from the director that said how shocking it was when Duvall showed up on the set the first time. According to the director, the cast and crew all reacted in real life exactly as Scout did to Boo Radley. It was Duvall's idea to bleach out his hair and give himself a sort of ghostish look. Cool, hunh?

rochambeau October 14, 2008 at 6:44 PM  

Hey Tangobaby,
Sounds like a FABULOUS time with you and little Peach and all the rest.
To Kill A Mockingbird is a GREAT book too. It is the right way to think!!!

Well, thinking good thoughts for Pres. O. & You!!


Gypsy Alex October 14, 2008 at 7:16 PM  

You're a little film encyclopedia, aren't you? Miss you xxox

Anonymous October 14, 2008 at 11:56 PM  

To Kill a Mockingbird is such a wonderful film and book. But I do have to be in the right frame of mind to watch it or read it. It's my anger at the injustice and ignorance that overwhelms me, but it's a wonderful book, a defining book. Maybe this book should be handed out to the Palin/McCain supporters next time they've making ignorant and racist remarks about Obama, Muslims and Arabs.

d i a n a m u s e October 15, 2008 at 9:24 AM  

John McCain = The Manchurian Candidate.

You knew that, didn't you? The Peach knows it, too.

paris parfait October 15, 2008 at 11:47 AM  

So glad the event was not only fun, but a huge success! Lucky you to be treated with a visit by the little peach! I adore To Kill A Mockingbird - the book and the movie. xoxox

tangobaby October 15, 2008 at 4:06 PM  

Hi Johanna,

I remember reading certain lines in the book that just stopped me cold, because they were so simple and perfectly written.

John Steinbeck gets me like that too.

You are a terrific writer. But I know what you mean. Just don't stop writing!

Hi willow,

I hope you will get a chance to watch the movie again soon. And I agree with you. Normally the film adaptation is one that pales in comparison. I have to say in this rare case I like the book and film equally.

I adore the children. They steal my heart. How funny that even this beloved book has its own tiny conspiracy theorists! That's a hoot.

Hi dutchbaby,

I agree, there is a special pleasure in enjoying a good film through the eyes of someone who hadn't seen it before. I'm so glad you could make it...we'll just have to make sure you get some Peach action next time.

Hi christina,

And we ate Junior Mints in your honor, too! Lol. (Well, I did.) We also put some in the freezer. That is the new exciting way to eat them.

We would have loved to have had you with us.

Hi debi,

Yes. Yes. That scene is magnificent. And the end, when Boo comes out from behind the door, and Scout takes him home. I cry every time. Every time.

I read somewhere that Atticus Finch is considered to be the most admired film character in American cinema, and I think you and I might agree with that, huh?

I hope you get to watch the movie again soon. And don't forget the Junior Mints!

Hi relyn,

Yes, I saw that commentary too. I really enjoyed seeing Robert Duvall so young and so different from the later roles we're used to seeing him in.

Thanks for the tip on the audiobook.

Hi constance,

It was relaxing and very fun indeed. The little Peach was our celebrity, though!


Hi gypsy alex,

So sad you couldn't have joined us. I think you would have enjoyed it.

Hi carol,

Exactly, yes, that was why I wanted it to be part of my little film festival. Somehow, seeing the story through the eyes of the children makes the serious issues of race and justice easier for me to handle. And sadly, this current political year shows us how very little some things have changed.

Hi d i a n a m u s e,

Am I that transparent? Or is McCain? Watching Angela Landsbury's character get hers at the end was very cathartic. Sure wish you could have joined us, too.

Hi paris parfait,

Thank you for your support and virtual visit and your generous donation. I really appreciate it!