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5 January 2002

I don't think I've ever done a "Friday Five"  before. I checked out the web site after reading the list on Lis's entry, I decided it's designed to help people who are running out of ideas for journal entries...or for theatre critics who have been at the theatre late and then have to write a review and are running out of steam when it's time to post a journal entry! (Gee...who do you suppose she's talking about, Martha?)

Besides, this week's Friday Five looked like fun, so here goes:

1. You've just won a complete collection of movies starring one actor - what actor would you pick?

I would say Judy Garland, except I already have the complete collection of Judy Garland movies, collected over many years. I also have most of the "complete collection" of movies of most actors I like (Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, etc., etc.), since I started collecting my favorite movies on video when we first got our VCR back in about 1981.

I stopped recording movies to keep a few years back because (a) I ran out of places to put them, and (b) I realized that I rarely watched the ones I have anyway. I probaby have close to (if not more than) 1000 videotapes. Some 600 or so are labeled and are tapes that I recorded 3 movies on myself. But there are lots that I have purchased, or that have been given to me, which raises the number of actual tapes considerably (especially if you add in the Lawsuit concerts I recorded [probably close to 50], and "home movies" that the kids made with our video camera).

So, with that in mind, if I were to choose today which complete collection I'd like to add, I'd probably say Helen Hunt. She seems to do quality work (yes, even Twister...her performance elevated it from a disaster movie to something with a bit more heft to it), and I haven't yet seen her in anything I've disliked. (Also, she hasn't done that many movies, so it wouldn't be a problem to find a space for her "complete collection" on my shelves!)

2. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

Monsters, Inc. What a delightful movie! Not only was the story cute and entertaining (and I didn't fall asleep!), but the animation was absolutely mind blowing, especially the fur on the main character, which moves just like real fur. There is one scene where he's lying face down in the snow with the wind blowing over him and you'd swear it was real fur. My friend David says that the guy who invented the process for making hair move naturally on computer animation is a shoe-in for a technical Academy Award this year.

3. What was the last video or DVD that you bought?

Well, I was given Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for Christmas and haven't yet had the chance to watch it. But I didn't actually buy it myself. The last DVD I bought myself was something that had the potential to be really awful, and ended up being one of the most delightful things I've seen. It's called Mind Meld and is, I believe, only available on William Shatner's web site. It's just a conversation between Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, most of which was recorded in Nimoy's back yard. It starts out being a sort of an interview, but very quickly just becomes a couple of old friends reminiscing about old times. For anybody who enjoyed the original Star Trek, this is really a must-see.

4. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get sick of?

B00000JQU9.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg (6661 bytes)I'd have to give two answers here. And both I have watched over and over again. The first is the Judy Garland (of course) version of A Star Is Born. That movie made a Garland fanatic out of me and I'm sure I've seen it easily 100 times or more since I first saw it in 1955. I also have it on VHS and on DVD (my friend Michael was one of the folks involved in cleaning the movie up and putting it on DVD and it's absolutely gorgeous). There was a time when the movie ran, it seemed, every month at a little hole in the wall theatre in downtown San Francisco. Admission was 25 cents and I would try to see as many showings of it as possible. I haven't seen it in its entirety in awhile, but I always try to catch it if it's showing on TV, despite the fact that with a perfectly beautiful DVD sitting here, I could see it any time I want.  I'm not sure why I was so taken with this movie when I first saw it, other than Garland's performance herself.  I guess I've just always been a sucker for this kind of romantic pap--and I've barely forgiven Barbra Streisand for what she did to it when she decided to remake it.

B00003Q432.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg (5308 bytes)The other movie would be the Kerr-Grant Affair to Remember. Another movie from the 50s. While I didn't get as obsessive about that movie as I did about A Star Is Born, I would have no problem watching it over and over again. I usually catch it on TV as well--and all I really have to watch is the last 5-10 minutes of it and I dissolve in a heap.

The romantic in me likes that movie because I guess I do believe it's possible for two people to fall in love in a short time, when the chemistry is right. It's also interesting to see how they are able to film this amazing romance without anybody taking off his or her clothes. There is a scene on the ship where they have just returned from visiting his Grandmother. During the day, they have gradually come to realize that they are falling in love. They talk about the impediments to continuing the relationship. Both have been cared for by others all their lives and they realize that there will be great sacrifice in giving up that lifestyle and learning how to live independently. She says to him "We changed our course this afternoon." He begins to pull her up the stairs on which they are standing. All you see are their (fully clad) legs, yet you know there is a passionate clinch going on above the screen. No need for huffing and puffing and heaving of sweaty breasts flashing across the screen. The point is made quite effectively.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?

Reviewing plays. Tonight it's The Crucible, performed by a high school group, and tomorrow night it's back to Little Shop of Horrors (people may remember that I reviewed this show a month or so ago). This is being done by a different theatre company and they are going to have to go some to equal what the university did.  It will be difficult to avoid making comparisons.

Sunday, we're going to a housewarming in Oakland, for a guy who used to be in the kids' band, Lawsuit. Also we'll be saying goodbye to Jeri, who is flying back to Boston on Sunday.

So there you have my "Friday Five." Perhaps it wasn't all that boring after all. It's my kinda subject anyway.

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