Sometimes a night can take an unexpected turn and you end up in a place you didn't expect. It results in a surprising experience. Those moments in life are my favoritesFor example:Last night I found myself in the middle of a bunch of screaming fans in a packed concert on Jones Beach with Def Leppard on stage.
3 hours earlier, I had no idea
my night would lead in that direction.
My friend from childhood and former Bartending buddy was in town. The weather was stormy and wet. She suddenly asked me and Eric "hey, you want to go see Def Leppard?
She had two tickets, but there were a lot of factors against us. 1. It was an outdoor theater and the weather was awful. 2. Transportation 3. Only one extra
But there we were hours later, all problems resolved. Rain stopped, The security guard let Eric in for free and we were having an amazing time. They played some Led Zeppelin hits and it was like being transported in time to a rock concert of the 1970's. The smell of weed drifted over the crowd and the lights were flashing. Eric was thrashing his head.
Back when Tara and I were 15 years old, We listened to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" in her basement. Now we were watching them live in concert over 10 years later. A random, crazy, and fun night, who would have thought?
She flew back to Florida this morning, and she's reading this.
******Here's another older entry from my locked diary. This one was written in Germany, 2005
I'm still hungover.
Last night we met up with some friends at the Irish Pub
We ordered "Green Giants", (Which is bright green mixture of Beer and curacao.) There was a two for one special..and they were cheap. It tastes like candy and you forget it contains alcohol. I drank one too many last night.
..I'm still debating how much I want write about last night. Lets just say, it was a fun night....
In the beginning of the evening, everyone at the table started talking about films from their childhood and teenage years. the ones that left the strongest impression on them..for one reason or the other.
Peter's new girlfriend, Rose said "Dirty Dancing!"
I had to agree..that was the first one that leapt to my mind too. I think that might be a universal female thing. Especially amoungst those in their twenties and thirties.
"And Top Gun..Do you remember that song?", She laughed
"Take my breath away...."
"Yes!..and "Days of Thunder"!..you know, "Grease" left an impression on me too!", She said "So what are your Top ten?"
I wasn't sober enough to come up with a list at the time..we all mentioned different films for a while, sang songs from the soundtracks and laughed about all the memories..
But today, I was thinking about that..
Here is my list of the most influential films of my youth till today. These are not necessarily the best films ever made..some of them aren't even that great. But there was something special about each one..something that made them stay in my memory long after seeing them. They left a deep impression on me. When I think back..these are the first 10 films that come to mind...
this is the very first film I saw in the movie theaters as a very young child. I have clear memories of the awe I watching it on the big screen. I wrote about this in more detail when Christopher Reeve died last year. It's in this entry.
I couldn't tell you what this movie was about anymore, It's been at least 19 years since I've seen it. But I remember I watched it often and there was something so magical about it, something emotional, something that made me cry. I still can envision the scenes that stuck in my head. I remember terrifying vulture creatures with long necks, I remember sitting on the edge of the sofa clenching the seat cushion in absolute anguish at the prospect of the main female gelfling dying..I know I dreamt about it afterwards and drew sketches in my drawing pad. Some of my earliest childhood drawings were the characters from this film. One of these days I have to rent it and see it again.
I loved this film and even though I was young, I knew David Bowie was sexy. There were so many levels to this film and I was intrigued. I didn't know whether to hate Jareth or to love him. This was a beautiful fantasy film and now it's considered a cult classic.
Back To The Future
Imagine traveling back in time with a Deloreon and seeing your parents when they were your age?. It pulled me in, and I couldn't get enough of it. It's a brilliant film, just entertainment in the purest sense. I can't even put my finger exactly on what it was..but I wore out the VHS player at age 8 with this movie. I still have the original video cassette, bulky and heavy with the tattered plastic cover.
How many times I saw this movie..I can't even say. Every sleepover party at every friend's house... this was the film. Nothing could top it. At age 9, this film was PG 13, therefore taboo. We had to take turns watching out for our parents and played it on a very low volume. It was the ultimate coming of age film, Who didn't want to have Patrick Swayze grinding his hips against them? Who didn't want to dance on stage and rebel against your parents?.. Half of the underlying issues I couldn't even grasp at such a young age. I had the soundtrack and I listened to "Cry to me" on my little pink cassette player with my eyes closed. What was it about this film? why did we love it SO much...
I saw this movie for the first time when I was eleven years old, the same age as the protagonist. Never before did I connect so strongly with the main character..never before did I cry so hard at a film. It was heartbreaking, touching and bittersweet. this movie stuck with me. I'll never forget the funeral and the poem she read in class. "weeping willow with your leaves hanging down..why do you always a weep and frown..Is it because he left you one day..is it because he could not stay.". I saw it again after the death of Jim at age 21 and I saw that little girl I used to be. It tore me apart.
I think I was 12 when I saw this film. It was the opening night and the theater was packed. There was so much energy and so much excitment. Everyone laughed at the wit of the joker..and cheered with every line Batman delivered. He was a dark hero..he was complex..he was sexy.. I was captivated.. I left the theater feeling a sense of rush. My friend Steven said.."Do you want to see it again?". I whispered "Yes", and we snuck back into the theater for the next showing. I can't say whether this IS actually a good film, or my judgment was clouded by youth. I haven't seen it in about 13 years. But it left an impression.
At age 15, I saw this movie for the first time and it has remained my favorite since. Never have I found a film with so many layers of jokes, cultural references, and honestly portraying the struggle of graduating college..trying to make it. It's so damn witty, and to this day..I discover new jokes, puns on words and references. Nearly every line in this film has a double meaning. I see it's flaws now as I grow older, but still love it. Plus it captures the nineties in a way no film has done.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
At age 18, I discovered "Breakfast at Tiffany's", Holly Golightly is a complex character, and I think everyone could relate to her struggles at discovering who she was. I instantly loved this film.
This movie changed the way I saw so many things. Too many to even list.. I don't even feel it's necessary to explain. This movie speaks for itself.
I left this movie with chills running down my body and I was covered in goosebumps. On the drive back from the theater..I sat in the backseat in a daze just digesting what I had seen. The variety of emotions I felt when i saw this film..the journey it takes you down.. I can't remember the last time I felt that while sitting through a movie. It has it's flaws..yes. But it's so powerful. It shook my core.. It's sad how this film was bashed by critics and shoved under the carpet. What they were attempting in this film, shouldn't be overlooked. It has a strong message, if you look deeper.. It simply blew me away. It made me question the very core of my existance.
"Just remember, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour"
"Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around"
"Say everything now, now, now, now"
"Open your eyes"
"Its been a brilliant journey of self-awakening, now you simply have to ask yourself this... What is happiness to you?"
I couldn't breathe...I just whispered "holy shit.." I didn't see things the same. I wiped at my cheek absently, my fingers were wet from tears, and I realized I was crying.
What movies were influential to you?
I asked Eric the same question..here are his answers, off the top of his head. He's with me right now, so I'll let him explain in his own words.
1. Star Wars
Eric: "Well the first time I saw Starwars I was just out of Kindergarten. I didn't quite know what hit me. I had stopped feeling my body sitting in front of the television and I was really disoriented once the film ended. I felt like my life wasn't the same anymore after seeing it. What impressed me most was the idea of "the force", and there just being something else behind the universe that exceeded my naive child-like christian ideas. Something that wasn't personified by an angry bearded old man that did things to the Israelites I really didn't understand. This was a completely different idea of spirituality. That's probably also what caused me to think for a while that in a past life I had been "commander number one of the Vega Star system" - Don't ask me why, but a few years..I seriously believed that. That was my favorite refuge fantasy when things got rough.
Fuck the new episodes."
Eric: "Guess what impressed me about this film the most? It gave me a completely new role model as a preteen which was the beginning of my "depressed phase". I bought a long black coat, much to the dismay of my mother. I sewed a scarf to my pants to be "different". I had to be like Judd Nelson. I can't really give you a good reason why I wanted to be this. There isn't a deep philosophical humanitarian idealism behind it..Just all the girls thought he was the most fascinating character. So as a result..I wanted to be him."
Eric: "I think the best movies..(and this isn't true for Breakfast club) are those that make you forget you exist. Only when the titles come down do you once again realize you have a body. I don't think any movie ever did that to me as much and strongly as Koyaanisqatsi. For those of you who haven't seen it. It's a wordless film. It doesn't have any protagonists. It just takes the camera, aims it at the factual reality of the world and our industrialized society and shows it all in an excelerated rate. You can see an entire day within 3 minutes. It shows you things commented on only by the background music such as the astronomical length of a powerline, the destructive force of the (), the beauty of a nuclear explosion, clouds crashing into mountains like waves onto a shore and infinite poverty in the heart of wealthy society. It shows the errors and illusions of mankind."
All that without saying one word. Koyaanisqatsi - "the state of unbalance"
He also mentioned "Magnolia", "All Quiet on the Western Front", "The Color Purple", "Fight Club" and "A hitchikers guide to the Galaxy"