A long time ago (April 2011) in a galaxy far, far away (the same spot where my ass was in April 2011), I used a piece from the Beer and Whiskey Brothers as inspiration for The Six Stages of Movie Geek Evolution. At the time, I was trying hard to work my way up to the final stage- Celluloid Sapien. In the following year and a half of movie-watching, I learned a completely unexpected lesson.
You see, in April 2011, I thought that those other stages- the five previous to Celluloid Sapien- were over. I thought I’d seen and done whatever needed to be seen and done in those stages. But the truth is that those stages never leave you. They’re ripe for re-visiting. If you liked the films in those stages once, then you’ll probably like them a second (or third or more) time. And you’re also very likely to discover new aspects about those films. You may find new ways to enjoy them, and ultimately gain a deeper appreciation.
What prompted me to write this article is a discussion I had with my friend Marty, a fellow movie geek. He and his wife Michelle have a little girl that they love to pieces, named Harper. She’s just over a year old, and Marty is now re-visiting a lot of the classic Disney films. He’s re-discovering the greatness of early Disney. Thanks to another movie geek friend of mine (Ryan), I had done the same a year ago. Ryan insisted that I should give films like Bambi (1942), Fantasia (1940), and Pinocchio (1940) a second look. Both Marty and I had the same experience. We both came to realize that these were amazing films. And yet, we had each put them away since childhood.
Those particular films are quintessential Familymovicus Cartoonata movies. Re-watching them was a treat. I’ve had similar experiences with every other stage of the original “Six Stages”. Because of the rash of superhero movies in the last few years, I’ve re-watched the original Batman (1989), the original Spider-Man (2002), and several of the Batman sequels, remembering each time why I’d liked those films the first time. The next stage, Sundancicus Robustus, is one I constantly re-visit because of my (absurd?) reverence for the 1990s, fertile territory for independent cinema. Those films fit me like a glove. Oscaria Subtitlus played itself out this year, with my 25 Classic Movies on the Big Screen resolution. That resolution allowed me to see some amazing Oscar (and foreign) films on the big screen, learning a lot more each time about the respective classics.
The larger point here is one that gets lost amongst hardcore movie geeks. In our thirst to discover the next great new thing, it’s easy to forget that there’s still lots of magic in the films that made us the movie-watchers we are today. Moving forward, I refuse to fall into this trap. I won’t forget. As the Québecois say, “Je me souviens”. I remember.