Thursday, June 4, 2009
(Some of) My Favorite Movie Periods/Places
“During which movies have I thought, ‘Wow, I would really love to be there and experience that place at that time?’” This is the final question posed by Daniel Getahun in the process of creating his Favorite Movie Periods/Places Meme (or whatever we want to call it) over at Getafilm. Daniel tagged me to take part in this fun little challenge, and I’m happy to oblige. At least, I think I am. The hard part here isn’t to come up with a list but to narrow it down.
Though Daniel kept the rules open, I tried to select places/periods that, for one reason or another, would be difficult to access in the real world today. For example, I thought of naming the Ferris wheel in Vienna where Holly Martins and Harry Lime have their famous confrontation in The Third Man. But I nixed it because I could easily go there and, in my own mind, recreate the magic. Likewise, I also avoided naming locations that I find fascinating first and foremost because of their historical significance. Otherwise I’d be listing JFK to be in Dealey Plaza, or The Passion to witness, um, The Passion, or, heck, even National Treasure 2 to be in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. I think Daniel’s intent was to celebrate movie moments, and so, in that spirit, here are six of my favorite movie places/periods:
1607 Virginia, from The New World
It’s not just that I want to know what it was like to see our country when it was “new,” it’s that I want to witness the moment above: the moment when Native Americans saw European ships – structures unlike anything they’d ever seen – approaching in the distance. What a moment that would be to experience – from both sides!
Early 1900s America, from The Natural
This is a film with a tremendous sense of place, from the attire, to the baseball uniforms, to the stadiums. More than anything else, I want to step into the scene above – a place where a train pulls into town and an unknown hayseed pitcher strikes out Babe Ruth (er, The Whammer) while steam drifts from the train engine, and people look on from bicycles and a carnival Ferris wheel spins in the background.
Early 1950s, Hickory High (Indiana), from Hoosiers
“Welcome to Indiana basketball.” I want to watch a high school basketball game in a place where the basketball game is the only thing to do in town. I want to watch it in a gym packed with screaming fans (“We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?”) – a gym so small that two lines are needed to define “half court.” I want to go to Hickory High.
1972 Virginia, Rosslyn Parking Garage, from All The President’s Men
Yes, I know. It’s just a parking garage. Yes, I know, it’s a historical event. Kind of. See, there’s no way that Bob Woodward’s real secret meetings with anonymous source Mark Felt were as thrilling as they are in this film, when Robert Redford’s Woodward meets Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook) in a creepy garage, amidst wafting cigarette smoke and under the intense pressure of the Watergate investigation.
Turn of 21st Century New York, Tenenbaum Game Closet, from The Royal Tenenbaums
I just love that game closet, okay?
2700 New York, WALL-E’s Trailer, from WALL-E
In a world without life but full of trash, WALL-E’s trailer is a cozy, lived-in, loved home – a sanctuary. I want to go there.
Where do you want to go? Fill in some favorite movie places or periods in the comments section, or keep Daniel’s meme going.