Film Fragments

Last night I watched twenty minutes of The Fabulous Baker Boys. A few days ago I watched half of Bullitt. This afternoon I watched part of The French Connection before watching all of The Godfather. I never purposely set out to not watch all of a film and I’m not really sure what happens or why, but my attention often drifts.Bohemian hell hole HeaderMaybe I have Attention Deficit Disorder; but unfortunately it wasn’t recognized when I was a child, so I was never diagnosed with it. My mind wonders and then I start the movie again– but now I’ve lost it. Or rather, the film has lost it. Lost its flow. I decide to make a sandwich and pour a glass of beer and then come back.Linda and Maggie OverexposureThe situation that occurs when I return is symptomatic of a bigger problem. Namely that my moods swing erratically when it comes to film watching. I really have to be in the mood to watch a film. Often, when I stare at my DVD collection, wondering what to watch; it’s not so much about what is a good movie but more ‘what film will fit my mood?’. I need my fix of film, but it has to be the right prescription. For example, last night; I was in a carefree, happy, Meg-Ryan-is-my-Pixie-Princess mood, so I reached for Addicted to Love.Tie Dye to Die ForMeg always takes me on a ride here, with her natural sparkle, and a comedic grace rarely seen on screen. It was rare back in the 90s, but seems even rarer now. I was swept away in the moment, but as the film was playing, I had an idea for a feature on The Fabulous Baker Boys and When Harry Met Sally. I paused the DVD and began typing. Half an hour later I realized my idea was hardly original. I turned off the computer and returned to the movie. But now I was angry at myself for starting a film and not finishing it, the magic had been lost.Infra-red MaggieSo my mood swung back to The Fabulous Baker Boys. Believe it or not, I haven’t watched this film for most of this year– ever since I lent it to Olga at work who decided to let her cat have a two hour disco dance on the data side of the disc (Or so I assume). I decided to try it, in the hope the disc would work. It did, and like that the spell was cast. The film was as good as I remembered and Michelle was all powerful, so talented and so so beautiful, I was falling for Pfeiffer all over again when the ringing of a telephone shattered the illusion.Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer)Interlude over I couldn’t get back into the movie. I’d seen it too many times before. It left me lamenting “Where is Pfeiffer now?” and I probably won’t return to The Fabulous Baker Boys any time soon. It’s often like that.The scenario isn’t unusual. I’ve experienced fragments of these films many times before. I do sometimes wonder though if it’s good to keep watching random scenes from the same movies, and then I witness something as beautiful as the dissolve that occurs 58 minutes into Addicted to Love. Proof that film is an incomparable medium, a supernova from which a boundless array of images might emerge.




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