. . .
he’ll ask you for some popcorn
and chances are
when you give him the popcorn,
he’ll want you to take him to the movies.
from If You Take A Mouse to the Movies
written by Laura Joffe Numeroff
illustrated by Felicia Bond
Laura Geringer Book/HarperCollins, 2000
My brother and I would sometimes go to the movies on a Saturday afternoon. It was well before 1968, when the Motion Picture Association put their Rating System in place. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Fantastic Voyage, and the Pink Panther come to mind. I don’t remember having many restrictions on what we were allowed to see. We watched a James Bond film, too, maybe Goldfinger. The folks probably should have paid a little more attention to that one.
We were allowed to buy candy, but we had to use our allowance money for that. I liked Goobers and Sugar Daddy and Boston Baked Beans and those Necco Wafers, especially the chocolate ones. I don’t remember what my brother got.
We were not allowed to buy popcorn, though. It had something to do with a bad experience my dad had when he was young and bought popcorn at the movies. I think it involved a creepy-crawly.
But, I buy popcorn now. Almost every time I go.
I don’t mind going by myself, although going with a friend is nice. Especially if we can talk about it after. I saw Barbie by myself, then I went again with a couple of friends and had an interesting discussion. I don’t usually pay for a movie more than once, but Into the Woods was another one that I saw twice. Since then, I have borrowed it from the Library several times, too. I love how the storylines all come together. And I’m always amazed at the quality of the singing voices of each of the characters, especially the kids.
The new movie I want to see is Wonka. When my husband asked me why, I right away said how much I like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (with Johnny Depp). I like the Gene Wilder one, too, but Depp’s version feels more like Roald Dahl.
Last Wednesday (12/13/23), the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced the 2023 list of movies selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
To be included in the Registry, a film must be at least 10 years old. It must provide cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance. These movies help define our society, display our values, and give us a common frame of reference. You can find a chronological list of this year’s selections here.
The Library of Congress (LOC) calls this year’s list eclectic. It includes The Little Mermaid, the film version of Stephen King’s Carrie, Twelve Years a Slave, and the 1950 version of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” which won a Best Actor Oscar for José Ferrer, the first Hispanic actor to do so.
Turner Classic Movies aired a special on Thursday, December 14, to screen some of the 2023 selections. Dr. Hayden joined Ben Mankiewicz, TCM’s host, and Jacqueline Stewart, chair of the National Film Preservation Board, to discuss the films.
Titles are selected by the NFPB and nominations from the public. If you want to participate, fill out the form at www.loc.gov/film. The deadline is August 15, 2024. Decisions are usually announced the following December. You are allowed to recommend up to 50 titles per year through their online nomination form.
You will probably want to consult a list of titles not already archived And here’s a list of those that have. The first list is in chronological order beginning with the 1890 film, Monkeyshines #1. The second list is in reverse chronological order beginning with last week’s announcement and ending in 1989 (the first year the LOC made its selections) with The Wizard of Oz.
I printed the 2023 list. I bought a fresh ten-pack of microwave Skinnypop popcorn. Now I’ll look over the list with my husband and decide which movies we want to cuddle up with as the cold weather finally settles in.
I’m reading Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity by Laura Meckler (Henry Holt and Company, 2023). I feel a connection to the book since my grandparents lived in Shaker for a long time when I was growing up. I remember some of the places and the names in the book. I didn’t know how progressive a town Shaker Heights was and wonder if my grandparents did. If nonfiction is what you like, if you have a connection to Cleveland (or Shaker Heights) or are interested in the history of race relations, this one’s for you.
-—Be curious! (and cuddle up with your cat and a