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31 Days, 31 Movies

Movies make me feel like anything is possible. My parents took us to the movies often when we were kids. Siskel & Ebert were household names. Somewhere in my adolescence I really fell in love with film and began to appreciate the artistry, the nuances, the raw power of the medium. The lights go dim in a theatre and I draw in a deep breath, filled with the delicious anticipation of what is about to unfold before me on the giant screen. Enraptured by the opportunity to be transported, to feel, to laugh and cry freely.

And, oh, how I laugh and cry! As a teenager, I remember going to see Big, starring Tom Hanks with a group of friends. When the movie ended I put my face in my hands, dropped my head to my lap, and SOBBED. Needless to say my friends were baffled by my reaction. Wasn’t this a comedy? But I found the fantasy so beautiful that I just couldn’t contain myself. I felt no shame about this even though it earned me a fair amount of teasing. I was proud to feel so deeply. Besides, my friends may have been baffled but they did not judge me harshly, they just accepted this as a part of me; Luisa cries at movies, even comedies. I have always had good friends.

Going to the movies alone is one of my favorite outings. Magical because I get to be with my own experience, not distracted with wondering how my companions are enjoying theirs. Sitting in a movie theatre alone, yet not alone, I am completely at home. Spying other single viewers sprinkled through the seats I feel the solidarity. We are film lovers, hear us sit quietly and take it in!

The Oscars are a big deal in my World. Every year I host an email Oscar poll with my family and friends. I take my hosting duties quite seriously and make an effort to see as many of the nominated films as possible so that I can make informed picks and comments. The awards season is cram time!

In the last several years, however, my movie viewing has dwindled. Yes, I cram for the Oscars, but otherwise I just haven’t made the effort. My love has not diminished, I may be a bit cynical about the quality of movies of late, but that is not what’s stopping me. I think I have lost sight of how valuable film is for me. It makes a difference in my life. It helps me believe in possibility, in humanity, in my own potential even.

So I have given myself a project for January. I will watch thirty-one movies in thirty-one days, a movie a day to rekindle my passion and return to one of my greatest joys. Sure, there are a hundred other worthy things I could dedicate my time to, but I am excited to touch base with the part of me that loves movies. I need the quiet, the intellectual stimulus, the reminder that we are all connected by a common experience: being human. Besides all that, it sounds like FUN!!

Is there a project you can give yourself in January that will help rekindle your passion? Or even offer
you some much needed fun? Think about it. If you come up with something I’d love to hear about it.

Oh, and I have 31 movies to see! Any suggestions?

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13 Responses to “31 Days, 31 Movies”

  1. Lisa

    So now I know why when I sobbed my eyes out at the end of Love Actually, you didn’t look at me funny. 🙂

    A January project… yes… finishing up my 8 Days of Joy workshop. 🙂

    • betty

      Love Actually is one of my favorites too. A couple of days ago, I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bill Nighy was in that as well in quite a different role! If you haven’t seen it, I recommend Best Exotic Marigold.

      But I will also give you my two cents on a recent DVD release: Hope Springs. Quite possibly the most boring movie I’ve ever seen. A friend called while I was watching and I told her just that. She said every person she’s come across who saw it felt the same.

  2. Luisa Tanno

    I will never judge you for sobbing your way through a movie 🙂
    Can’t wait to take your workshop!

  3. Muddy Kinzer

    I love Love Actually, I’m a huge fan of Bill Nighy, I thoroughly enjoyed Marigold Hotel, I loved Hope Springs, and I love this 31 Days, 31 Movies challenge!

    I can’t wait to find out what all the 31 movies are…I hope you post a list at the end of the month! : )

    Because you have inspired me, I have a January project too: finishing up some art homework from a couple of online courses I took in 2012. I made myself a schedule, so hopefully I can stick to it!

  4. Luisa Tanno

    Ditto on Love Actually and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I actually have Hope Springs coming on Netflix so I can weigh in on the boring v. great debate! Day 1 was Lincoln and it was excellent!

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  6. Bill Vernon

    I loved “Love Actually” and was so amazed at all the types of love that I listed them once just to see how many there were in the movie (I lost the list and will make another). I just saw Paul Haggis’ “The Next 3 Days” on Netflix and recommend it. Good luck on the 31 movies in 31 days!!

  7. Elizabeth

    Dearest Luisa,
    Please do not watch Hope Springs its worse than boring ! NOT a good use of time spent.
    My favorite this year hands down – Silver Lining Play Book !!!
    Love Actually is on my top ten list ! Sophie’s Choice if you have not revisited in the last five years would be one great pick for your 31 movies/days quest.
    Enjoy !!! E

    • Luisa Tanno

      Well, I did see Hope Springs so too late for that ;). I didn’t think it was so awful, it just missed the mark for me. It is possible that I have never seen Sophie’s Choice … can you believe it? I will add it to the list. Thanks Elizabeth!

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