Friday Night Think Thank: Academy Awards Edition

Doc BrownHappy Friday of Oscar Weekend, Modern Philosophers!  I’ve always fantasized about winning an Academy Award, so I like to think of watching the ceremony every year as research for how to do things the year I’m finally nominated.

For this week’s Think Tank, I thought we’d do something fun and movie related.   I have seen so many movies over the years, and have a wide spectrum of memories related to the experiences.  For this exercise, I thought I’d tap into the sillier memories and keep things light and happy.

This week’s topic: When you think of your crazier movie going experiences, what’s the oddest one that comes to mind?  Bonus points if your answer includes an Oscar winner…

I’m going to share a story from my college days.  I had been dating the woman who would grow up to be my Ex-Wife for about two years.  It was Valentine’s Day and I wanted to make things really special.  For a dorky Film Major at NYU planning Valentine’s Day for his first serious girlfriend, it was inevitable that a movie would be involved.

I took her to a quiet Italian restaurant back in Brooklyn that had excellent food and was like something out of a Mafia movie…checkered table cloths, pictures of the Pope and Frank Sinatra on the wall, Italian music playing on the radio.  It was perfect and romantic.

After dinner, we walked over to the local theater to see the new movie that was opening up that night.  I’d read the book and knew it was going to be a classic.  There was talk that we were going to study the screenplay in class.  What better way to impress my girlfriend than to take her to opening night of a flick that was bound to be a classic?

I was right about the classic status.  It went on to win Oscars in all the major categories at the next Academy Awards, and it considered to be one of the best thrillers ever made.

lambsYes, I took my Valentine to see The Silence of the Lambs!

Not exactly the movie one associates with love and romance, but they did open it on Valentine’s Day!

I might be a hopeless romantic now, but I was still very much a dork back in college and very, very, very bad with women.  Of course, that night’s date went on to marry me, so I must’ve done something correctly, but I don’t think taking her to see a moving about a cannibal and a serial killer, who was making a suit out of human flesh, would be filed in the “done correctly” column.

So what about you, Modern Philosophers?  What bizarre movie memories do you want to share with the group?  Can anyone top mine for pure dorkiness?  Is anyone else craving a fine Chianti right now?

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers.  I look forward to reading your comments as I prepare my annual Oscar acceptance speech.  I’ll probably have to include all my new blog friends in it this year, so who needs to go from last year’s speech?  That’s going to take some Deep Thinking…

 

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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34 Responses to Friday Night Think Thank: Academy Awards Edition

  1. mudlips says:

    Back in the late 80s, at the end of a month long backpacking trip in Costa Rica, Mr Mudlips and I were killing time in a small town near the airport the night before we were to fly home. We wandered the town looking for something to do and stumbled upon a movie theater. Since our Spanish was sub-fluent we didn’t expect to be able to enjoy a film. We looked at the posters outside -all in Spanish – and then we saw the name Stephen Spielberg on one, and saw that the movie was due to start in about 10 minutes. What luck, we could see a movie after all!

    Neither of us had ever heard of the movie but since Mr. Spielberg is American we felt certain we would like the flick. As we paid for our tickets, we used our limited Spanish skills to confirm with the clerk that there were indeed subtitles on the film. Wow, were we lucky, that meant that the film MUST be in English – why else have Spanish subtitles?

    The movie started and a story began to unfold BUT the actors were all speaking in Japanese! This was an art film that Spielberg helped produce but was filmed in, and about, Japan. We did our best to read the Spanish subtitles and got the gist of some of the plot but ultimately had no idea what was going on. But, too embarrassed to get up and leave we sat through the whole film. I still have some vivid memories of scenes from that movie, I think having to work so hard to glean what was going on burned those images into my brain. I don’t know what the scenes were about but can describe the set in detail.

  2. Ahem…well, I will attempt to keep this G-rated for favorite movie memories :). My high school years were not so G-rated in movie theaters, most notably “Ghost” which was my (quote unquote) first official date with my boyfriend of nine months or so. Missed a good chunk of that one! I did see Silence of the Lambs with that same boyfriend. By that point, we had cooled it a bit and were sneaking dinners into theaters from the mall. I realized pretty quickly that a Greek gyros with tzitzaki sauce was a bad choice for this particular movie.

    For sheer embarrassment, I’m going to have to go with something a little more recent. My parents came up from San Diego to LA to visit for the weekend, and my uncle and aunt (who live here in the Valley) also joined us on the Westside. So of course we decide to go see a movie – we all love them and there’s just no better place to see a good movie than here. I had heard of a movie that had rave reviews, was getting all the awards buzz, starred one of our favorite actresses and (for my classical-music and opera loving stepfather) had wonderful ballet scenes, so we all went to see…you guessed it…Black Swan! Yeah, it wasn’t fun sitting next to my Mom for much of that movie.

  3. I had been to watch ‘The Day the Earth stood still’ with a friend. Balls of light floating. Aliens. It kept promising. It kept telling us – wait, the best is about to happen. Wait, there’s a twist to this. Wait, you’ll get your adrenaline rush now. Wait, it’s a good story.

    And we kept waiting. And waiting. Even after the movie ended, I thought there would be something after the credits rolled out. And then we cursed everyone, including ourselves, and left for home to sleep so we forgot the disastrous day. Turns out, it took out a long time to forget that mishap. In fact, I still remember it.

  4. Jason Preater says:

    I went to see the bunny boiler movie in Philadelphia when it came out: Fatal Attraction. It seemed like a cool way to impress the girlfriend. I found Glenn Close much more sexy than the wife and was really rooting for her to come out on top, even though Michael Douglas seemed a rather limp prize to be dragging off. It was a strange place downtown that had been made into a multi-screen by chopping a regular-sized cinema in half: long and thin with that smell of rancid butter you get in movie houses without proper ventilation. It was so long that the image wrapped around the edges of the small screen onto the walls at either side, transforming a mediocre thriller into an unforgettable surrealist classic.

    • That was a great movie. They changed the ending, though, because the test audiences didn’t like how the screenwriter originally concluded it. How do you allow the audience to overrule the writer??? Boil their bunnies for that, I say!

  5. LucyJartz says:

    A group of us went to see ET when it first came out. We were all in our late teens-early twenties and none of us had kids, but the movie was pretty popular at the time. During the most somber scene where the plant is dying and the boy is crying (along with most of the theatre) one of the guys joked “E.T. on ice. That’s nice.” and we all burst out laughing! — at which point we were politely asked to take our disruptive group outside.
    I would like to say “I’m sorry” and I have since seen the movie with my children and found it to be very touching (no hate mail please). For the record, we all apologized at the time, but we were still laughing, so that one did not count.

  6. My first husband (I call him Plaintiff No. 1) proposed to me at our local drive-in theater. I should have known this marriage would fail since the movie playing was “The Night Of The Living Dead.”

  7. Back in the 80’s my first boyfriend, who also turned out to be a husband for a very short period of time, took me to a drive-in movie to see Halloween. Now, knowing that I am in fact the mayor of scaredy cat town, this really wasn’t a good idea. The drive-in was surrounded by woods, which just…well, put me on high alert. It became very clear that one of us was there for the movie, while the other was there for a make-out session. We probably should have discussed this and the “I Do’s a little more before saying yes.
    I have goosebumps just seeing that movie poster Austin!

    • That movie also gives me goosebumps, but for another reason. The first time I ever kissed my ex-wife was after we watched that movie together in the TV room of our dorm at NYU. The horror!!!! 🙂

  8. Lenore Diane says:

    The only story I have to share regarding movies in movie theaters wasn’t a story at the time. Then years later, someone asked the question “Have you ever waliked out of a movie?” My answer shocked everyone. “Yes, I walked out of one of the most stupid and boring movies ever: Raising Arizona”.
    Come to find out, it is my husband’s favorite movie, as it is with many others

  9. Iamrcc says:

    I remember going to the movies with my ex-husband to see Blazing Saddles. He laughed so hard he nearly fell out of the seat. He was in the end seat on the aisle. Can you imagine a 6’5″ 200 pounder falling out of the seat into the aisle. That would have really been funny. Well, thanks for the memories and the like of my post “Clear for Travel”.

  10. she who has no filter says:

    you there. i’ve nominated your ass for the liebster award. your instructions to be followed can be located in my blog post “something that doesn’t suck.”
    should you choose to accept.

  11. queenlorene says:

    I went to see The Little Mermaid with a group of college girlfriends. Why? Because we were college girls who could damn well see any genre we wanted, and Ariel had pretty hair. But first we got a little liquored up. My liquored up is 1/2 glass. I have an alcohol intolerance; either catatonia or hyperactivity develops after just a thimbleful. Its in the genes. My body decided on hyperactivity. I laughed until I wheezed throughout the whole movie, and when the frogs came out of the water on the Kiss The Girl song, I fell out of my chair and howled on the floor. Good times, don’t remember laughing so hard at something so stupid, oh yeah, I do, but The Hangover doesn’t need alcohol to make it hilarious 🙂

  12. This isn’t really a story, but regarding romantic movies, on our 11th anniversary, my husband and I went to see “From Hell.” Loved it. That was the year he gave me videos (it was a while ago) of “Frankenstein,” “Bride of Frankenstein” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” After all, the 11th is the Horror Movie Anniversary. On a related note, we have always considered “Carrie” as a date movie, for a rather dirty reason I won’t share here.

  13. filbio says:

    All I got out of this is that you took your future wife on a date to see Silence of the Lambs on Valentines Day. She still married you. You sir, are the man!

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