Monday, January 22, 2018

everyone looks back on their childhood

There was an asterisk next to a paranthetical "sort of" right at the end of yesterday's entry, my seventh and last with Halloween II. I had intended to add a footnote, but with the "works cited" bit, a footnote would have looked odd. So, now that footnote:

* Not that it is an interesting footnote. I just like to imagine sometimes that there is some reader here that pays close attention to the details and loves to nitpick when I get things wrong. I called Halloween II my final film for 1981, but it turns out, when I was sorting out my 1982 movies the other day, I figured out that the release date I had for today's film was wrong. On Golden Pond was released in December 1981, not January 1982. Or maybe--and I'm writing this on the eve of the Oscar nominations for 2017--it had a limited release in December, a wider release in January. I'm sure Hollywood distributors were playing that game back then, throwing their award-hopeful films right into the end of the calendar year for the short attention spans in the award voting blocks.

But, the discrepancy brings to mind a different topic--

And, the Amazon Prime video of the film just began with like a minute of blank screen and no sound. That was odd. And distracting. And, then familiar music (but not the most familiar music from this film) plays that I've heard many times. It's weird that this movie is one of the films of my childhood, actually. This is not really a film for kids.

SMASH CUT TO: naysayers pointing out that Halloween II isn't a film for kids. And, that's not what I mean by not really a film for kids. Parents might not want their kids to watch movies like Halloween II but kids who watch those kind of movies will (at least eventually) enjoy them. A movie like On Golden Pond, all slow and meditative, talking about love and starring old people--even if you want your kids to watch it, they probably won't enjoy it. Hell, I barely remember the plot, or if there even really is one. Though I have seen this movie many times, the last time I watched it was probably in the 80s.

And, that first scene with dialogue was great. Ethel (Katharine Hepburn) is excited about the loons on the pond, calls Norman (Henry Fonda) over to hear them, and he says he doesn't hear a thing. A brief exchange, but it tells us a lot about the relationship between these two old folks.

--but that wasn't my topic.

I was thinking less about cute old couples and more about me as a little kid. While I was already seeing movies and even paying attention to them (behind-the-scenes stuff and in a few years (definitely by 1984) noticing stuff like the Oscars), I was also just a kid. And, when some of the films--all these ones I've been watching these last few months for this "deconstruction"--were on regular repeat in our house, sometimes the timing of any particular film is vague and blurry. Like, prior to maybe the mid 80s, my knowledge of when a particular movie came out is something that came later, looking back. (Except for the original Halloween because one was nice enough to put its date on the screen, and my mother would always point out that she saw it that night--October 30, 1978.)

And, sometimes weird mixups occur. Norman was just walking in the woods, and the musical cue had me thinking of the movie The Four Seasons, which came out earlier in 1981. Another cabin, another forest. And, while I don't specifically recall seeing On Golden Pond in the theater--I think I did, but the memory just isn't clear--I know I saw The Four Seasons in the theater, and that is also not really a film for kids. But hey, sometime late in '82 we'd rent Summer Lovers on video, and that was really not a film for kids, and my mom would turn it off when she realized. And, I'm not sure how I managed to be in the room for the beginning of that one, but I remembered it for a long time--casual nudity like that will get the attention of a six year old, I suppose. I finally watched the whole film sometime in the 90s.

But, that's what I am talking about. Watch enough movies... Live enough life, and the stuff from long ago starts to blend together. One memory has so many connections to so many other memories, that a single reminiscence will send you down a flowchart of connections, to different movies, different theaters, different moments.

For example, one of the old theaters on Colorado in Pasadena--I forget it's name (it was either the Esquire, the Colorado, or the United Artists, or some other theater I have forgotten ever existed; Pasadena had a lot of movie theaters) but we went there a lot--had an Mario Bros game in the lobby. Going to the movies used to involve playing video games. I mean, there are theaters still that have arcade games, but it is rare that it looks like anyone is playing them. I used to look forward to specific games at specific theaters. The Academy had Centipede, had Contra. The Pacific Hastings had Track & Field and Gauntlet and Rampage.

And other thoughts pop up. Katharine Hepburn was 74 when this film came out, Jane Fonda (who plays Ethel and Norman's daughter Chelsea) was 43 (and just about to turn 44). Just this week (though, I haven't gotten to any of the new season's episodes yet), Grace and Frankie premiered a new season on Netflix. Jane Fonda is 80 now. Older than Heburn was here. But, so very different are these presentations of age.

But, I was talking about movie theaters. I got to play more games at the Academy because it was cheap and we'd go for a double feature. I'd play a few games in between.

But then, I realize that this is Dabney Coleman as Bill, and it's like Mr. Hart and Judy Bernly from 9 to 5 hooked up after the events of that film, and that's just strange. But, those connections happen in my head, whether they make sense or not.

And the Academy had chocolate malts just like they had at Dodger Stadium. At the Pacific Hastings, they had good hot dogs and they had Icees. The General Cinema in the Santa Anita Fashion Park, for some reason, had the restrooms upstairs, though all four screens were on the same floor.

Late 80s and early 90s, well before Moviefone, and centuries before IMDb or Fandango, I had about a dozen different movie theaters' phone numbers memorized. I know, that is unbelievable--that I would be that obsessive about anything related to movies.

 

 

 

 

 

As I get lost for a bit just watching, it occurs to me that this movie will forever be linked to Ulee's Gold, too. For obvious reasons. Peter Fonda, Henry's son, Jane's brother, stars. And, he stars as an old man dealing with younger family members. Saw that movie at either the Esquire or the Colorado. Before they both closed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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