Saturday, February 17, 2007

More on movies

Well, World Trade Center was.....I don't know what the right word would be. I remember that day and the days after that. I remember finding out that I knew people here in Lethbridge who had lost family there. A close friend of mine was booked on one of the planes but changed his flight at the last minute because a meeting on the coast was canceled. We held a service at the university and a lot of people came. Another friend went down with the Red Cross and worked with the recovery teams.

Some of that all came back watching the film but in some ways it was a very different glimpse of what it was like to be that close up and not know what was going on. The Port Authority policemen who are at the heart of the movie don't know the second tower has been hit. They haven't seen the planes. They are trying to respond to the emergency but are operating figuratively in the dark. But what struck me was how light it all seemed at first, before the towers collapsed.

In some ways the film reminded me a lot of We Were Soldiers Once with Mel Gibson. That film covers the events of the first major battle of the American involvement in Vietnam on the same battle ground where the French had been defeated before them. The focus of both movies is on the courage of the men and on the agony of the women left behind. Neither are particularly political films in the sense of commenting on the nature of the conflicts. This surprised me with WTC since it is directed by Oliver Stone and he always seems to have something to say that is controversial. Instead the whole point of the movie was to remember the courage of people who ran into buildings when everyone else was running out.

To return to my post on romantic comedies I need to add a couple more films. In response to a comment posted by Aaron I need to add Notting Hill. I like About a Boy but Notting Hill is one of my favourites. Very late last night another one of my favourites was on - Return to Me. It was too late to watch it but I was reminded to add it. Like Notting Hill it has some wonderful scenes of friendship and it has a great soundtrack. And in that vein I would add Keeping the Faith, Edward Norton's gem about the friendship and romance between a priest, a rabbi and a corporate workaholic. There is also that wonderful little Canadian film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. How could it not be a gem? the writer was from Winnipeg.

Now I'm putting my mind to making a list of movies about friendship that I like. 84 Charing Cross Road would be at the top. If you have any suggestions.....

4 comments:

Tim Chesterton said...

The one based on a Chaim Potok novel - is it 'The Chosen' or 'The Promise'? I can't remember.

Erin said...

The Chosen - yes, that would be on my list too. I love that film, although they made Rueven too secular in an attempt to contrast him with Danny. The book is better on that. But Schell and Steiger are both fantastic. The first time I saw it in the theatre I wept at the final conversation between Danny and his father. I love Potok's novels - I've read them over and over again. The Book of Lights is wonderful on friendship as well.
Thanks for the start!

Sarah said...

What about the new childhood friendship/coming of age movie, Bridge to Terabithia? The book is very good, if I remember correctly. Or Simon Birch? Also, how about The Big Chill, First Wives Club, and other reunion-themed movies? And there's always Thelma and Louise...

Erin said...

Sarah,
I hadn't heard of the first one but it has just arrived in theatres - will have to check it out. I like Simon Birch but the novel A Prayer for Owen Meaney is so much more that the movie never quite did it for me. I used to read the novel every year during Holy Week. Haven't done that for a while but it is a good read.
I love The Big Chill - I don't know though whether I'd want those folks for friends - but what a soundtrack! and some of the lines are forever quotable. I don't know how many times when the topic of funerals have come up that I've said, "I'll come and I'll bring a date" and you can always tell who gets the reference. I must confess I've never seen First Wives Club or Thelma and Louise.