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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Deep into that darkness peering...

As we stand in the drafty doorway of October (November just around the corner) fall now upon us, my mind tends to gravitate towards that blessed (cursed?) of holidays that is swiftly approaching, of course I'm referring to Halloween. I LOVE Halloween and I eagerly await it's arrival year after year, with a giddy anticipation that almost borders on absurdity and when I say "almost borders on" of course I mean, "tramples headlong into". For me, fall equals Halloween equals fall. The two are nearly synonymous with one another. I imagine a quieted suburban street all fallen leaves that rustle with the wind, that sharp chill that says winter really isn't as far away as you hope it is, a moderate jacket will suffice, or a hooded sweatshirt. There is a lonliness that comes with the fall, and even Halloween, at least for me now that I've grown into an "adult", my perception of the world broadened to that point of totality that takes away from the magic that is Halloween, and yet, I try as hard as I might to regain that sense of wonder. My view of what fall and therefore Halloween "should" be like is somewhat influenced by films. The film Halloween and to a somewhat lesser extent, A Nightmare on Elm Street, really embody, for me, what Halloween ought to feel like. Not many films capture it, but some manage to do just that, in recent years I believe the film Trick 'r Treat comes pretty close. You could argue that my perception has been altered by these films and it very well may be, but I like to think that what those films do is summon up a "memory emotion" from my childhood, what I really felt come Halloween time, a feeling that may have lain dormant for years. There was that feeling that the night would never end, that we would continue our ritual demanding of sweets in exchange for dressing up as our favorite horrors or less frightening characters, forever, into an eternal twilight of cool air and rustling leaves, all darkness and fog, Jack o' lanterns our only guides. As children we are blessed with the inability to view our lives, or the events therein, with the completeness we do as adults (who are even limited to a certain extent), for them the wonder is in those moments of unknowing. Halloween has changed even from when I was younger (not that long ago). I remember going to my grandparents' house out in Lansing and traversing the, seemingly, endless streets of their subdivision for what seemed like hours upon hours. In actuality I'm sure it wasn't nearly as long as I remember, but it felt like it. I remember it being dark, oh so dark, what a dark it was! It was dark from the moment we started! We never started when it was still light out, where was the fun in that? Now I see children, always accompanied by an adult, making their way up and down the sidewalked streets at about 3:00 in the afternoon, (still daytime as far as I'm concerned) and wrapping up right when it gets dark! It's like a city sad. Times are different now, but I try to keep the feeling and memory alive by habitually dressing up, watching the horror movies that really put the creep on, eating candy and caramel apples and all things unhealthy and just letting the little kid in me have control...and that's why I look forward to Halloween, another opportunity to give that emotion and memory some life, so it doesn't die, as I get older and older. So have yourselves a happy Halloween everyone! (This post really wasn't about film...but, oh well!)

Monday, August 22, 2011


Hey everybody, thanks to everyone who made it out for Days of Heaven this past Thursday, we had a nice attendance (12 people!) and we even had a little conversation time afterwards for about 20 minutes, I was really happy with the way it turned out and it seemed like everyone enjoyed the film, at least to a certain extent. This update is for the month of September, a little advance notice so you know. We will be meeting Thursday, September 15th at 6:15pm and we will be watching:

Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 black comedy film which satirized the nuclear scare. It was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, starred Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, and featured Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, and Tracy Reed. The film was loosely based on Peter George's Cold War thriller novel Red Alert, also known as Two Hours to Doom.
The story concerns an unhinged United States Air Force general who orders a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. It follows the President of the United States, his advisors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer as they try to recall the bombers to prevent a nuclear apocalypse. It separately follows the crew of one B-52 as they try to deliver their payload. (From Wikipedia)

Come on out for a fun and hilarious time!

Here's the trailer:

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Hey folks! It's August now (yikes) and that means it's time for a new film. This month we will be meeting Thursday, August 18th at our usual time of 6:15pm and we will be watching:

Days of Heaven
(Directed By Terrence Malick)

Days of Heaven is a 1978 American romantic drama written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard and Linda Manz. Set in the early 20th century, it tells the story of two poor lovers, Bill and Abby, as they travel to the Texas Panhandle to harvest crops for a wealthy farmer. Bill encourages Abby to claim the fortune of the dying farmer by tricking him into a false marriage. This results in an unstable love triangle and a series of unfortunate events. Days of Heaven is widely recognized as a landmark of 1970s cinema. Many commentators have noted the way the film emphasizes powerful symbolic imagery over conventional dialogue and pacing (From Wikipedia). Terrence Malick is a singular director that is unlike any other living today. He has only directed 5 films in the span of nearly 40 years but each is a precious gem in the world of cinema. He is a director of little words (his films reflect this), but the feelings and images he conjures are more powerful than any words, each frame is saturated with a richness and depth that escapes most directors.
This is a film you will absolutely not want to miss!

Check out the trailer: