Monday, December 22, 2008

Movie Memories

A standard in the Raynor family media gamut is the film Sense and Sensibility. I first saw the movie when I was about 12 or 13 and read the book when I was 15 or so. It is one of my go-to novels when I want to read something lovely.

Amid swells of nostalgia, I recently watched the movie again. In my mind, that film is inextricably intertwined with memories of my mother. Even as I watched the romance unfold between Elinor and Edward, I could picture the movie playing in the family room of my teenage years: my mother, always and forever at the ironing board; my dad, book in hand and fast asleep in the floral armchair; my sister and I curled up on the couch amidst a multitude of blankets; my kid brother stretched out on the floor in front of the TV with Teddy, our astronomically chubby dog. My mom, ever a teacher, would always prompt us to a deeper understanding of the story. I cannot watch some scenes without hearing her voice saying, “Look at the differences of expression in the faces of Mrs. Dashwood and Fanny. How do you think they are feeling?” or “See where Marianne put the flowers from the Colonel and the ones from Willoughby? What do you think she meant by that?”

It's funny how often movies are linked to memories of my youth. Take Last of the Mohicans, one of my top five favorites. I remember watching that movie with my older sister years ago. Right after Uncas dies, Alice looks down at his body and slowly turns back to Magua. At this point in the movie, I vividly remember Amy whispering, "She's so beautiful!" Every single time I see that scene, I hear my sister's voice: "She's so beautiful!"

And Titanic. When I see that movie I remember the time our parents were out of town and Sandra and I dragged all the mattresses and pillows in the house into the family room and perched on top while we ate chocolate cream pie and watched Leo and Kate. Of course, I'll always remember my sister Michelle and the night we decked the house out in owl-shaped luminaries in preparation for our in-home screening of the first Harry Potter film.

My memories aren't always pleasant ones, though. My mom let me watch Beethoven one time when I was home sick with the flu. I still get queasy when I see that movie.

I think sometimes the affection (or abhorrence) I have for certain movies is not based on the film's merits alone, but on the memories they invoke. And I know that there is no bout of homesickness that cannot be eased by a quick screening of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Back to the Future, or Three Men and a Baby.

1 comment:

Amy Brinton said...

Kim, you have to say that it's the EDITED version of Last of the Mohicans. Don't go around telling people that I've been watching Rs. I bet that half of the movie was cut out.