Je me Souviens* (*I Remember)

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.

If you haven’t seen this movie in a few decades, give it another try. It’ll surprise you.

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.

Me too, Québec license plate. Me too.

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.


Filed under Movies

13 responses to “Je me Souviens* (*I Remember)

  1. As an ex-pat Quebecer, I have to tell you that on a license plate “Je me souviens” does not mean “I remember”, it’s true meaning in that context is “If you don’t like my driving, get off of the sidewalk”.

  2. Nice one here John! Since five years or so I’ve been admiring the early Disney Classics a lot more. And finding Fantasia was a real tough thing since it wasn’t available except the months Disney decided to reedit in Blu-Ray back in 2010-2011. I remember having to take an old VHS atmy University’s library to watch the thing. It was worth the wait!
    By the way, I have a small anecdote related to the license plates. As you know I’m Québécois and I collected every license plates each time I bought a new car. So for my Camry 92, I wrote the 350 000kms and kept a key of the car when I got rid of it.
    It is indeed one of the great things to rediscover great films or films that left a great mark. I’m about to rewatch Fritz Lang’s M and I remember having seen that 7 years ago and I can’t wait to see how I’ll enjoy it.

  3. martini

    I watched Bambi at 4:45 this morning with Harper. Even sadder when you’re delirious. Also watched Sleeping Beauty from 2am to 3:30am earlier this week. There’s gotta be some irony there or something. Great article.

    • You are a much braver man than I am. I refuse to watch Bambi, with or without my kid. I can barely make it through Cars without shedding a tear, Elf turns me to mush at the end. If I watched Bambi, I would probably be in a serious funk for a full day at minimum, possibly my whole week would be tanked.

    • Maybe you need to give her an apple poisoned with baby NyQuil.

  4. I recently came across a cache of movies-watched lists from the late 90s. I saw 360 movies in 1998 (not includings ones seen in class) and I either don’t remember some of the titles or happened to have rewatched them in the last year since I couldn’t recall if I’d ever seen them. Movies are like books that way: some stay with you forever and have multiple meanings/complexities/hidden delights the more we revisit them. Some are totally unforgettable crap though which is why lists are good (historical) fun.

    • It’s funny you say that. Just the other day, I was explaining to a friend that if a movie sticks with me, my opinion of it improves. And vice versa- if I don’t remember much about a movie after a few years, it hurts my opinion of it.

  5. The beauty of children is that you get to go back. I am just showing my girls (ok not super films, but still classics) Flight of the Navigator and Short Circuit. They are getting Blu-Ray releases here and I snapped them up when offered them for review.

    Great article John

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