One of my favorite movies is Bridges of Madison County. As a die hard romantic I watch the movie at least once a year. It’s usually in the summer and I go sit outside on the patio and watch the movie alone with a glass of red (okay, sometimes it’s a bottle). And each time when that scene – you know which scene – the scene where it’s raining and they’re stopped in front of the red light; Clint Eastwood is waiting for Meryl Streep to get out of her husband’s car and come to him and she has her hand on the door handle. The stop light changes but he waits and then he drives away and she bursts into tears. Around that time I burst into tears as well. These are not wet eyes with a dab of moisture but big boisterous tears with sounds of sobbing. I come back into the house after the movie and empty glass (um…bottle) of red; and tearful eyes and my husband says, “So she didn’t get out of the car this time as well?”
I saw Bridges of Madison County for the first time in Santa Clara at home. I saw it alone. And it has always been a movie that I like to see alone.
But there are other movies; like Moonstruck. I saw Moonstruck for the first time with my husband Søren when we were on holiday in Denmark. We saw it in his parents’ TV cum sun room and that’s a movie I never watch alone; and always with him. We understand the references. When I say, “Snap out of it,” he knows what I’m talking about. Or when I say, “I just want you to know no matter what you do, you’re gonna die, just like everybody else,” he knows even if no one else picks up the reference. And when I did go to the Met to see Tosca, I wished he was there as I saw the fountain where Nicholas Cage meets Cher, because only he would understand.
With my sister, invariably it’s old Hindi movies. One of our favorite movies is Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, which is a cult classic dark comedy from 1983. We still talk about it and remember the dialogs and laugh. That’s a connection for us; a way to go back to our childhood when we were sisters, huddled together in a movie theatre watching Om Puri, drunk as a skunk convinced that a coffin was really a car. (Yeah, you have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about it and then it’s really funny.)
With friends, it’s other movies. I remember that I bunked engineering school classes a million years ago to go see The Hunt for the Red October with my then boyfriend. Obviously we went to the movies to neck in the darkened theater but the movie was so good that we didn’t neck and watched the movie. Every time I think about The Hunt for the Red October, I think about him.
Another movie and its music that gets me going is Dangerous Minds. But I remember watching Dangerous Minds with Søren when we had just started dating and he then bought the soundtrack. This was seventeen years ago so the details are fuzzy but I think we were fighting or having some relationship teething troubles but every time I hear the music I have this sense of unease; like something is wrong between Søren and me.
Recently, we introduced our kids to Star Trek and they’re hooked. We watched all the seasons of Star Trek Next Generation; and Voyager and now Deep Space Nine. I can’t now separate Star Trek with how they respond to it. And it’s such a joy to introduce them to something I enjoyed and now see them enjoy it as well.
Movies create connections – and there are so many of them that we connect with. Books and music have the same effect. But that’s another blog.
Which movies have touched you and become part of your memories?