Title: Hurricane Irene Movie Marathon
Description: Still in progress
Lenny Moore - August 28, 2011 09:32 PM (GMT)
As my mother and grandmother reside in a "zone A" evacuation area (Far Rockaway), it was necessary to bring them over to my apartment and ride out the storm. Interestingly enough, after getting them settled in, my mother decided she wanted to watch movies in the sci-fi/horror vein that, preferably, she hadn't seen before. My step-son seconded the motion, and so began a movie marathon that continues even now, in the wake of the storm.
IRON MAN 2
LET ME IN
The only change of pace film so far is Spike Lee's documentary 4 LITTLE GIRLS, which presently has all members of my household riveted.
The intention is to return my mother and grandmmother home following tomorrow's workday, so I'm sure a few more films will be added to this list before all is done.
DRAG ME TO HELL
PSYCHO (the original)
Craig Blamer - August 28, 2011 10:43 PM (GMT)
Who picked those movies and what do they have against your mother?
Lenny Moore - August 28, 2011 10:51 PM (GMT)
Now, now, Craig. As with all things, people see the films and make up their own minds. I'd have no problem putting on SUSPIRIA, or SURN, WITCH, BURN, or SUNSHINE, or DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (the original), or even SLEEPY HOLLOW, but she's seen them.
For the record, LET ME IN, INSIDIOUS, and DRAG ME TO HELL need not be apologized for, at least not by me. The merits of the others (excepting 4 LITTLE GIRLS, which is a differrent kind of film) can certainly be debated.
Yi Lee - August 29, 2011 09:40 AM (GMT)
How did you get your family to sit through that entire slate of movies? Whenever I do movie nights with relatives and close friends over, everything breaks down by the two-and-a-half hour mark and people start playing rummy, mahjong, sitting down in the kitchen for snacks and a chat, going out to enjoy a small bonfire in the backyard fire pit, going to another room and turning on the radio, facebook, and so on--generally breaking off into smaller groups and doing other things besides watching the movies that are playing.
It doesn't matter if the movie is a mainstream crowd pleaser or a more difficult arthouse picture. Somewhere between 2:00 and 2:30 into a plie of VHSes, VCDs, or DVDs, people start scattering. In the rare occasion we get through two movies (usually two ninety-minute features: Jack Neo comedies--he's Tyler Perry for Chinese folk), everybody is too drained to watch more.
I'm a movie nut and go to festivals where I might catch up to six features a day but the only time I've ever seen the rest of my family watch more than two pics is that long trans-Pacific flight from the East Coast over to Southeast Asia. Watching movies, eating in-flight meals, strolling the isles after toilet break, sleeping.... Karaoke might run longer than four hours but people are chatting, horsing around, and goofing off when it's not their turn on the mic.
So, how'd you keep everyone on the same page in front of the screen for eight(!) feature lengths back-to-back?
Lenny Moore - August 30, 2011 04:00 PM (GMT)
When laserdiscs were the high end home video medium, I used to entertain family members maybe once a month with a double feature. Typically, I would show whatever the most interesting releases were at the time, or I’d show a couple of horror films (which always went over well, even if they weren’t particularly good).
Well, people have moved away and the opportunity rarely presents itself to have such an occasion anymore. It so happens that my mother’s health has not been so good the last couple of years, so she hasn’t kept up with movies the way she used to. Once upon a time, she’d watch films like HORROR HOTEL (or THE CITY OF THE DEAD, if you prefer), THE EXORCIST, SUSPIRIA, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, CAT PEOPLE (Val Lewton), etc., but when she wasn’t feeling well, she shied away from the horror genre altogether. Fortunately, she’s been doing a lot better, after a particularly rocky patch, and has expressed interest in viewing films, in general, again.
Having to evacuate her along with my grandmother from Far Rockaway and bring them out to my place to ride out the storm, gave everyone a chance to experience a bit of a flashback to good times. I never expected it to become a film-watching marathon.
Usually, as you say, a couple of films were the limit when I would show movies to family. People have different interests, and the more films you show, the greater chance people will begin to lose interest. MIDNIGHT RUN might go over big as an action – comedy, put if you put on LA FEMME NIKITA, a French film with English subtitles, the anti-subtitle folks jump ship.
It was never my habit to dictate what people viewed. If I got in three or four new discs, I’d make a suggestion about what people might watch and let them go from there. Sometimes they’d pick a new film and I’d suggest some catalogue titles. I might strongly suggest something I’ve been blown away by (BATTLE OF ALGIERS, M, THE KILLER, MONSIEUR HIRE), but that’s as far as it would go.
The reason this recent film viewing became a marathon is, I think, attributable to my mother catching up on one of her favorite pastimes, and the fact that the power remained on. As long as everyone could keep watching movies, meant things were still alright.
It was my mother who first instilled in me the joys of viewing horror films on a stormy day or night; a Saturday in particular. A film like THE LEGEND OF HELLHOUSE can only be seen, as far as I’m concerned, on a Saturday under stormy, or at the very least, extremely overcast conditions.
Being able to watch films with family or like-minded folks is probably more important than the quality of the movies in themselves. Good movies and bad movies alike will always be on tap, but being in good enough health to experience the sheer joy of film watching, surrounded by loved ones, is what this was all about.
Yi Lee - August 31, 2011 12:49 AM (GMT)
Thanks for the reply and detailed explanation. I don't think my extended family and network of close friends are as big of movie fans as your family and friends are, so we mainly stick to comedies and non-serious fare whenever we watch something in a large gathering. That noted, we've never experienced a hurricane or typhoon forcing us to buckle down at one location for an extended period of a time, which I suppose would get people to stay with the screen longer if they were prevented from physically leaving the premises.
Once again, thanks for the insight. For my immediate relatives under normal weather conditions, 120 to 150-minutes is about the viewing threshold for a movie "marathon" before people start getting antsy and drifting off to other things. Nonetheless, it's good to know if the weather's particularly stormy, there's a chance of squeezing in more than just two features. Happy viewing to the Moore family fans.