This weekend, my cousin Bess came to Dallas to visit me. We spent her first night here watching all three Jurassic Park films in anticipation of Jurassic World‘s release. I chose to view our immediate fixation on movies in a positive light: our family is very media- and story-oriented, so really, we were honoring our ancestry. After all, this was not the first time movies were central to my memories of Bess.
When I was very little, I loved the Ernest movies starring Jim Varney. So did my brother Roy and my cousins Andrew and Bess. One night when we were visiting them in Atlanta, we rented Ernest Scared Stupid, in which Ernest must destroy a bunch of trolls on Halloween. It is the most absurd film to ever exist, culminating in Ernest dancing and kissing said evil troll. The four of us peered over blankets, laughing as though we weren’t actually terrified. I vowed never to watch a scary movie again. Continue reading
When I was eleven years old, I saw Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in theaters. When I got home, I ran to my white board. It was where I wrote my most embarrassing thoughts, the ones too scandalous to leave permanently on a journal’s pages. “I know that Anakin is supposed to be so cute, but I LOVE young Obi Wan Kenobi!!” I stared at my admission of love, smiled, and erased the evidence.
Two years later, I sat in a theater again, sobbing over popcorn as Christian wailed, clutching the body of Satine as the curtains closed at the Moulin Rouge. I became obsessed, printing quotes (“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”), taping pictures to my bedroom wall, and singing “Come What May” loudly as I vacuumed the house. The Internet was a lot more useful by 2001, so I soon discovered that I had loved this actor before. Both Christian and Obi Wan Kenobi were played by the same man: Ewan McGregor. Continue reading
The first time I noticed the power of music in a movie, I was eight years old and watching Return of the Jedi.
Luke: I will not fight you.
Darth Vader: Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for… sister. So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will…