I’ve seen a lot of movies in nearly 54 years and all have affected me in one way or another. Some, like STAR WARS and LORD OF THE RINGS blew just about every gasket I have. Others, like FIELD OF DREAMS and THE FALL, touched me in deeply emotional ways. But when I think of movie magic, two particular moments come to mind.
Listen to this. (I’ll wait.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg7C9qwLoqE
Do you remember hearing that music for the first time? Does it still make you break out in a wide grin the way it does me? I was attending college in Buffalo when RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK came out in 1981. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the film, but it captured my heart and imagination almost from the opening sequence. What a wonderful throw-back to the serials of another age! A bit Lamont Cranston mixed with a little Stan Laurel, Dr. Indiana Jones was a new sort of hero. Or, rather, an old sort of hero give a new look and a bit of polish. Indy was cooler than cool — smart and sexy, handsome and debonair — but with a hint of the doofus that made him totally likeable and completely accessible. It was so easy to see yourself in him. At our finer moments, aren’t we able to crack a whip to satisfaction or rescue the maiden? The rest of the time, don’t we run from danger, get ourselves into trouble, and generally make a mess of things? Best of all (at least from my viewpoint), his heroine wasn’t some shrieking bimbo with big boobs, too much hair, and an inability to get out of her own way. She was Marion Ravenwood — hard-bitten, sensitive, and scrappy as a terrier. The perfect woman! I spent many a happy afternoon with Indy and Marion, and never tired of their adventure.
The next moment of cinema magic came in 1982: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTVoFCP1BLg
Admit it — you whooped and carried on, too, when that bike flew. I have my friend Larry to thank for that moment. I was still living in Buffalo, still going to school, having not such a good time of things, and Larry decided a movie was in order. This movie. I didn’t understand at first when he passed me a giant bag of Reese’s Pieces and told me to take a few before passing it on. (That bag went through the entire theatre at least twice.) I caught on pretty quick that something special was about to happen, but I never saw the bike ride coming and that heart-catching moment when it hits the cliff edge, drops…and soars is a moment that will live forever in my heart. (Thanks, Larry.)
So tell me….what moments at the movies live in your heart?