Friday Favorites 8/24/2012

While I’m posting, I like to have an old movie on the TV to keep me company.   I like to choose a film I love, something I’ve watched skatey-eight times so that I can pause to enjoy my favorite scenes without being continually distracted from my main goal, getting out a post for the next day.   Wednesday night, while I was writing Sometimes Stupid, the only film on cable that fit the bill was Groundhog Day on AMC.   It had been running repeatedly every evening since Monday in something AMC calls Can’t Get Enough Groundhog Day.   I’d watched it start to finish on Monday night and channel surfed a few scenes on Tuesday, so I’d Had Enough of Groundhog Day.   Faced with the prospect of movie-less posting, I tracked down Pleasantville in my DVD collection.  It ended up being a late writing night.  Writing a political post without being partisan isn’t easy with an Inner Curmudgeon whispering in my ear and a visually stunning film playing in the background.

There are so many things to like about Pleasantville.   I love the fantasy story of two nineties kids being magically transported to a 1958 TV-perfect world.  I love the slightly subversive theme that it is the very sensuousness and danger of life that gives it color.   I like the way the geeky brother becomes the sage and the slutty sister becomes the student as they bring real life … and color … to Pleasantville.  The book-burning scene, so reminiscent of Nazi Germany, reminds us of the dangers of a forcibly Utopian society and watching Jeff Daniels as Mr. Johnson discover art and color in his black and white world speaks to the importance of art.

The casting is perfect with Toby Maguire as geeky David and Reese Weatherspoon as his slutty sister, Jennifer.   Marley Shelton is a high school dream as David’s Pleasantville admirer, Margaret.   And some of the scenes as Pleasantville changes from black-and-white to color are simply gorgeous, especially David and Margaret driving into Lover’s Lane under the cherry blossoms … to the tune of Etta James’ At Last.

Pleasantville has a beautiful score by Randy Newman, too.  If you are a film fan, be sure to watch the Special Features, both The Art of Pleasantville and Newman’s narrative about fitting his score to the film.

Have a good weekend!

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2 Comments on “Friday Favorites 8/24/2012”

  1. Cheryl P. Says:

    I didn’t remember the color changes in that movie until you reminded me. You are so right about how gorgeous the scene with the cherry blossoms.

  2. territerri Says:

    I’d forgotten how much I loved that movie. As each clip ended, I found myself thinking, “No!” I wanted to see more!

    Sometimes I feel that writing comes easier with complete quiet. And when there’s too much noise, I find it impossible. But often, like you, I like to have something on the television at low volume.


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