Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oldie = Goodie

I think I finally realize why Greg likes me: I'm from before 1980. Okay, his love of old things doesn't really carry over into the subject of humans. Okay again, it's mostly just movies, TV shows, music and comic books. But maybe just knowing that I was around when many of those things came to be carries some weight with him...

I've never made a big secret of the fact that I generally prefer shallow movies to deep. Well, I suppose I mean that I prefer comedy to drama. Oh, it's okay if they want to throw a message in there (as long as it's one I agree with and it's not done in a in-my-face or cheesy way--Hollywood isn't generally where I like to turn for morals/guidance); but mostly, just make me laugh, please. Greg likes comedies as well and is even willing to watch the romantic variety with me now and again. He also really likes science fiction, and I'm willing to watch those with HIM now and again (especially if they're sci-fi comedies).

But mostly, Greg likes old movies. When we first moved to Poland it seemed like every week there was ANOTHER of Greg's favorite TV series from the old days re-running. There are countless mini-series, and regular series from the 60's and 70's (I sure lost count a long time ago), most of them in black and white, that he has watched and fallen in love with again (about Polish/German spies during WWII, two boys who travel around Poland alone during the summer, a guy who is a driver and an awesome man and has interesting adventures, a man who has a car that turns into a boat and takes some kids treasure hunting, where they learn cool stuff about history, and at least a few just about families). He has since bought many (just counted-7) of them on DVD or VCD. He watches them over and over. He has taught our kids to love them (those geared to younger audiences) despite the fact that they are 1) black and white 2) slow moving 3) not interesting (or maybe just not shallow or funny?) enough for their mother to sit through an entire episode. I really love this about Greg.

He recently found a whole slew of Polish semi-musical comedies from the 60's that you can get cheap on DVD, and bought them. We've been watching them and they are mostly fun and a little silly.

If a movie, Polish or American, comes on TV and it looks like it was made before 1985 (but the best are 60's and 70's), I can guarantee he will want to at least "give it a try." When he says this, I know he means "watch from beginning to end, barring too much foul language or nudity, and regardless of the level of stupidity or poorness of acting." In this way we have discovered many, many strange, interesting and sometimes awesome movies. We've also discovered a lot of very dumb, pointless ones. When I think they're too dumb (or I'm just not in the mood) I don't watch them, but Greg still likes to watch, for the same reason he likes to watch the good ones. They take him to another time and place, when life was simpler, problems were more easily solved and people wore astonishing clothing.

I don't know if it's like this in America, but here, at 9:00pm Cartoon Network turns into TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and this is where we see the majority of those old movies (the American ones, anyway). On this channel we have seen North by Northwest 59 times, Coma once, and then avoided it like the plague ever after, and lots of others I can't think of to name (great memory, eh?) Oh, but I do remember that I finally got to see the ever famous Breakfast at Tiffany's on this channel.

Speaking of which, are any of you Breakfast at Tiffany's fans? From what I gather, all of you should be. If you are, please explain to me why I'm supposed to love that movie. I feel very backward about it. It definitely would have fallen into the previously mentioned category of "too dumb" (not in the sense of intelligence so much as the weak acting, awkward pace/story line etc.)for me to watch all the way through, but I decided to "give it a try" Greg style. After all, it's Breakfast at Tiffany's! I thought. I'm baffled. And if it's about Audrey Hepburn? Give me My Fair Lady ANY day. (But don't be offended by my review! Convert me!)

7 comments:

jonesfamily said...

I suppose it is much better to be addictd to old tv rather than today's crud. And that explains all those shows you guys are watching when I call!

Erin said...

I don't remember "Breakfast at Tiffany's" being anything special, but I do like the song "moon River". I love the nostalgia of the shows I grew up watching. It always seems like the current ones are so dumb in comparison, but maybe if I went back and watched the ones I saw as a kid they wouldn't really be that great.

Nathan had me watch a documentary about musicals behind the iron curtain. Some of them were propaganda (songs about the joy of working in the field) and some were very funny. It was an interesting subject.

sarah k. said...

Sorry, I can't help you with Breakfast at Tiffany's. I watched most of it that one time that I went to Portland with Greg and that other girl. The family I was staying with didn't feel comfortable with me and their son alone watching a movie (which is so astoundingly funny, since we didn't even hold hands) but I just couldn't get into the movie. I had expected to love it, but it was pretty pointless. So I'm with you on that one.

Andrea & da boyz said...

Hurray! Other people who don't "get" that movie! I agree. Confusion. I don't even really buy Hepburn's character, and why does she even spend time with that guy? Yes, the song is good (my dad used to sing me to sleep with it), but even that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as far as the placement in the movie.

(Behind the scenes scoop: Hepburn really wanted to sing the song herself, despite people advising her against it. She ended up singing it, but it's not so hot. Maybe why it's not her singing on My Fair Lady...?)

I also don't like "Love Story." Have you seen it? Another "classic." One of the big lines is, "Loving someone means never having to say you're sorry." (or something like that.) But no, in my opinion, loving someone, means you SAY you're sorry when you do something lame, or whatever, because you never, never want them to hurt them and would go out of your way not to and you couldn't live with yourself if you DIDN'T. ESPECIALLY in the bizarro circumstance that that line falls in the movie. And the other person shouldn't forgive you unconditionally if you don't show them the respect that they deserve...

Wow. I guess I really cared about that. Don't even get me started on "The Graduate..."

Lisa said...

Andrea- I haven't seen either of the other movies you mention (see? I'm BACKWARD)

That's great! I knew there was a reason I have a hard time apologizing to Greg sometimes! It's because I LOVE him! SO much! Therefore, I naturally feel that I don't need to... I guess the idea is that you know each other so well and love so unconditionally that you automatically forgive each other? It sounds to me like someone was unhappy with how low the divorce rate was and came up with this phrase to remedy the situation. It reminds me of one of the quotes you have on your blog about how love doesn't "die a natural death". I love that quote because that idea is ridiculous (same with"we just grew apart" or "we fell out of love" and a load of other "reasons" people divorce). It's like saying the neglected flower died a "natural" death.

Susan said...

man, I've started this reply 2X already, let's try again:
About Breakfast at Tiffany's: I made the same mistake that you made. I rented the movie cuz I'd heard of it, and my impression was that people said they "kind of liked it". Then I watched it and thought it definitely wasn't all that, though I don't think I really hated it, just nothing to like, so why all the hype? Then I realized that I didn't actually KNOW a single person who'd recommended it, I was actually only going off of the song I like by Deep Blue Something (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakfast_at_Tiffany's_(song))
think about it, is that possibly your mistake? I think it's kind of funny.

As for all the other old movies, I went through that phase a couple years ago when we did Blockbuster online. I must say I was soooo surprised at things that I'd heard of forever (like All's Quiet on the Western Front) that were just too tedious to be born! A few were pleasant surprises, like An Affair to Remember, and Gone with the Wind (not QUITE the same category, but still old) and I remember loving Arsenic and Old Lace. But I agree with you in general about the oldies not being so great, and I can't sit through an entire one that I clearly hate. But I have a sympathetic bone with Greg in the desire to experience them, and especially, to find the gems.

Pam said...

Breakfast @ Tiffany's: You're right -- not a great plot. I'm not a big fan of Truman Capote anyway. I think part of the reason it's a "classic" are the highly stylized sets and costumes, and of course, the theme song. The Japanese character played by Mickey Rooney is really offensive... Roman Holiday is a much better flick. You might like it...