SASSY TOWN FOLLIES by Felicty Appleton no. 16, April 22

Playing Favourites

Adriano claims that his favourite film is Vertigo. He says this has been his favourite film for years, that it was his favourite when Michael Jackson’s album Thriller, which he also loves, came out. This can’t be true. When Thriller came out Adriano would have been one year old, and nobody is a fan of anything when they are one, if you don’t count their mum and shiny things. It makes you doubt his love for both the film and the album. It makes you think he just might be a liar about more things than that, too. He also claims to love Black & White films, but these usually feature Barbara Stanwyck , and he only really talks about them when there are handsome young men around and he wants to appear cultured.

I happen to know he’s a big fan of Bring It On, the film about competitive cheerleading. I saw a copy of the DVD in his satchel one day. When I asked him about it, he didn’t want to say much. He wanted to talk about Hitchcock and how he’d studied Vertigo shot for shot and had come to the conclusion that it was perfect. “Sublime,” he called it. And I told him that I had read about people studying the film that way, that people analyse the camera work, but I didn’t believe, I said, he had ever analysed the film at all. I wondered aloud whether he’d even seen it. I wondered if he even knew what sublime meant (we both Googled it later). He was being pretentious, I said. And he was too lazy to love something enough to devote himself to it – I said that too.

But Bring It On: I put it to him (my uncle Gordon always says “I put it to you”, and he’s a lawyer) that this was indeed his favourite film. Eventually he gave in. I think he was impressed that, for once, I was bullying him and that I wouldn’t give up my line of questioning (uncle Gordon says that a lot too). He said that Bring It On was a film he quite enjoyed watching, but his real favourite was Bring It On: All Or Nothing, the second sequel, which, he said, has more “artistic integrity” than the first two. I asked whether he really knew what artistic integrity meant and he said he did: he said the film was true to itself, that it was real, pulled no punches and wasn’t afraid to challenge its audience. He said fans love the film love it because it is gritty.

I laughed.

And so Adriano attacked me for liking Big Mama’s House, which, I admit, I do. I showed the film to my nephews the other afternoon and they loved it, and it’s true that I have seen the film a few times when I wasn’t babysitting as well. In fact I saw it at the cinema and, well, I also own a copy. I haven’t seen it twenty-five times at the movies though, as Adriano said. The truth it I’m a bit of a dag. I like The Nutty Professor quite a lot. And Mrs. Doubtfire. Comedy films where people dress up as other people make me laugh. I know they’re not quality films. Not high art. But they take my mind off things. I eat ice cream and paint my nails as I watch and don’t think about anything at all really.

But those weren’t even my absolute all-time favourites anyway, I said.

Adriano approved of my real list, which included An Officer And A Gentleman, Philadelphia and Ghost. He said the list was honest, and he seemed to mean it.

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Published in: on April 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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