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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why I Love Film - #1

On days when the news is slow, or when there isn't anything new that I want to see, I like to go back through the archives and revisit the films - and the moments, thereof - that made me fall in love with film in the first place. From a crappy cartoon I loved for some reason when I was a kid, to the Missouri Waltz's inclusion in Winter's Bone, there are way too many reasons for me to count. But... I'm about to try.

So, with the first entry in this series, what better place to start than at the beginning, yes?

More after the cut --

In 1990, my life changed. Irrevocably.

I was exposed to the brightest colors I had ever seen, angry men with disfigured faces, heroes with strong jaws, and beautiful women in barely-there dresses. Soft piano notes that flooded a dimly lit city. Al Pacino. Dick Tracy - directed by and starring Warren Beatty, for me, was the film that started it all. I so vividly remember my eyes widening at the shoot-outs, and my heart thumping wildly whenever Madonna spoke (give me a break; I was four).

But, more than anything else, I remembered one scene.

The mighty beyond mighty Mandy Patinkin and Madonna, sitting at a piano. And the world just goes on around them.

Nevermind the subtitles, please. It was the only video I could find without ripping my DVD. That I proudly spent $12 dollars on, because I had never found it on DVD before.

At 1:52, through about 2:00, there's an acting lesson. 101 stuff. Mandy Patinkin's hopeless and loving eyes stare at Madonna, and you can feel the need radiating from him. As they sing Stephen Sondheim's casually conversational words, and the story happens around them, another story is told in less than five minutes. Tragic love, and a senseless regret. All in that one dead look he gives her.

That's why I love film. That couldn't have been captured anywhere else the way it was here.