Tag Archives: parenthood
I am quite pleased to announce that this is the 100th Smug Film post! Woo! We began on January 7th, 2013 and we’ve been cranking ‘em out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since then—never missing a single day. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been an absolute blast, and we couldn’t be prouder of our output thus far.
Chances are, you haven’t read every single one of our posts, and that’s fine; with so many, it’s certainly not expected. But any self-respecting fan of our work should have read the following posts. And if you’re completely new here, this list is a great place start:
Pure cinematic honey.
A few days ago, I went to a one night only showing at BAM of Minnie & Moskowitz, one of my very favorite Cassavetes films. They’re currently doing a 20-film retrospective, including some films of his that are long out of print on DVD (such as the aforementioned, which thankfully has recently become available on Netflix Instant in HD, after being on there for ages with probably the worst SD transfer I’ve ever seen in my life) and some that have never even been released on DVD in America (such as Love Streams). This goes on until the end of the month, so if you’re in NYC, get your ass there. The prints are all gorgeous 35mm. Cassavetes really doesn’t get enough credit for his colors, because on DVD, they tend to look muddy, but their subtle vibrance comes through wonderfully on film. (Here’s hoping the recently announced Blu-Ray upgrades showcase them better.)
The film played perfectly well in a theater setting. The audience laughed at all the right moments, and genuinely so. I can’t think of a single joke in it that fell flat. You would’ve sworn the film came out yesterday, rather than back in 1971. Like honey, time hasn’t spoiled it whatsoever, and its sweetness hasn’t diminished one bit.
Field of Dreams. The undisputed king, for sure. But here’s ten other great ones.
It was a really tricky thing putting this together because they’re ranked on niceness, not goodness. Number two and number five are the best movies on the list. But they aren’t the nicest.
Niceness is even harder to define than coolness. Niceness is a warm and fuzzy feeling that a lot of art can generate. Probably the most popular example would be Norman Rockwell paintings. Niceness, like coolness, taps into our primal brains somewhere. We’re wired to feel it because it connects us to each other. But the problem with niceness is that it borders so heavily on cheese. Cheese done right is transcendent. But cheese done wrong is, well, cheesy.
When I was three or four years old, my mom took my infant brother to visit her family in New York and left me in Michigan with my dad for the weekend. While she was away, I was riding my bike and somehow managed to fall over my handle bars and scrape my face on the pavement. I was pretty distraught until my dad gathered me up, gave me ice cream, and put on the movie Parenthood. I calmed down pretty quickly, lulled by sugar and the quiet and familiar drama of family life. I’ve always enjoyed that memory; it’s a perfect vignette of my ideal childhood and the loving father figure who shaped it.
We all grew up bathed in the flickering blue glow of Saturday night movie rentals. These moments are primal, as if the light coming out of our living room windows was telegraphed by our ancestors gathered around their fires. These moments penetrate us deeply and shape our lives—in my case, in a way I never could’ve imagined.