Neverchanging Conundrum - An Intro

A library of great flicks sits to my side, alphabetically organized and begging to be watched. The desire to soak in a great piece of cinema soaks into my gut, while limitless options await my decision. I know there's something that I'm aching to watch ...

... I just wish I knew what it was.

I've been in love with movies even before I knew what a "film" was. One of the fondest memories I have of my father can still be recalled when glancing at a dingy, worn spine on a particular copy of Ghostbusters on VHS, replaced several times over on several digital formats. The same can be said for my grandmother and a worn down copy of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. See, those are my best memories: curled up on the carpet and soaking in some of the great fairytales of our time.

That hasn't really changed. The only thing that has changed is a personal definition of a "fairytale". Not necessarily what a fairytale is, but what I grasp as a fanciful, enthralling story that'll clinch my attention and refuse to let go. It started with New Yorkers wearing nuclear accelerators on their backs, shifted to a Caped Crusader dressed as a bat who leaped across rooftops in search of evildoers, and then transcended into a world where a tattooed man with short-term memory loss can search the corners of the earth for his wife's murderers.

Since those moments of discovery, both my library and my bearings on personal taste and cinematic significance have grown right along with the rest of me. Herein lies the little conundrum; what on earth am I in the mood for? Am I in the mood for Oh Dae Su's struggle with inexplicable imprisonment within almost Shakespearean convolution in Oldboy? Or, hell, how about the masculine eccentricity within Favreau and Vaughn's chemistry in Swingers? Whenever a free moment arises and a desire pops up to see something, this exact battle wages in my mind for quite a while before it surrenders to a method similar to the spinning of a wheel of fortune.

That's a part of loving film, though; it's an enveloping, holistic relationship that never forgets the boundaries of quality, no matter if its satirical comedy with a hint of disbelief or societal drama with a dash of overindulgence. To me, there's always something to be discovered -- even if that same cinematic stone has been turned twenty-times over. Hell, there's even a soft spot within this film lover's heart for Bedazzled. And yes, I'm referring to the one with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley in which the main character turns into both a Dennis Rodman-esque figure and Abraham Lincoln -- within thirty minutes of each other.

Put simply, I love the ways in which a film can pass messages. Movies speak, and passionately, to the the funny bone, to the brain, and to the interconnective tissue lingering between the head and the heart. No matter if we're talking about independent cinema or blockbuster franchises, they speak to us as people living in a world where these extremities, whether we're discussing the delicate relationships that intertwine within familial grievance or the splinters of wood that ricochet from a massive explosion, impact us all differently as differentiated beings. One man's explosion might be another man's annoyance, while one man's teardrop might be another's sign of weakness. The most gratifying point about that lies in the fact that people's tastes don't necessarily have to be so simply segmented. It could be all or nothing; everything is fair game in sensory art.

Has my love for film intensified over these years of desensitization to the many splendors and fiascoes I've experienced when diving into movies, both modern and classic? Maybe. It has, without a shadow of a doubt, matured. More importantly, that doesn't mean that some of the movies from my childhood have lost their luster, nor do the modern examples of "popcorn entertainment" sit beyond my grasp. You should've seen my bubbling excitement that built several months before I could indulge in Dreamworks' story about a panda bear that practices martial arts.

So now, with a clear mind and an enamored heart lit ablaze by my reminiscence of great films, and the great times had while watching them, it's time to spin the wheel. Will it be Miyazaki's animation, the Coen Brothers' biting sense of humor, or Hitchcock's ageless grasp on tension?

Hell, who cares. It all sounds good to me.


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