I Heart Movies

I love movies.

Movies are incredible. I mean, really, really mind-blowingly incredible. And not just the story, or acting, or direction, but when you think about what it takes to get something like that made. The sheer logistics of organizing and unifying thousands of set and prop and costume designers and engineers and camera crews and key grips (what the hell are those anyway?!) and special effects people and make-up artists and all the aides and all their aides and so on. And that doesn’t even cover the absolute maddening bureaucracy that must be dealing with the studios, and financers, and distributors, and everyone else that feels they must get their own divine input into a film.

And yet, I think that’s what makes movies so amazing. The sheer amount of dedication and labor and hard damn work that went into it. It’s the fact that I know there had to be no small number of people who really loved this thing they were creating and could not wait to share it.

I know that feeling.

I love that feeling.

It’s a feeling that I’ve cherished and chased since I was a little kid. So I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite movies that have really inspired me over the years.

JERRY MAGUIRE

Beyond all the catchy lines, and wow, there were a ton, was a movie about what happens to a guy AFTER the great epiphany. You know that tried and true movie formula where the movie is about some jerk who has a great epiphany at the end of the movie? Yeah, Jerry Maguire has that in the opening monologue, and then the rest of the movie is watching his life fall apart as he loses everything in his life. Having epiphanies are easy, dealing with the consequences are much much harder.

But Joe, isn’t the whole “you had me at hello” final scene just about Jerry having another Great Epiphany? So isn’t the movie really just the same damn formula after all?

First off, I can see you are the kind of person who likes to ruin things for people. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

But secondly, yes it is, and that is actually the true magic of Jerry Maguire. Because that’s life, isn’t it?

You’re inspired to do something great. You fuck up a lot. You learn something. And then you get up and go at it again, til the next time you screw up, anyway.

And I don’t know. There’s a certain kind of comfort in knowing we’re supposed to mess up, don’t you think? And it doesn’t hurt that writer/director Cameron Crowe is a master at making failure look downright beautiful.

GLORY

I don’t know exactly what it is about Glory, but it is always the number one, guaranteed most quoted movie during a night of drinking scotch with the boys. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that we’ve probably watched it well over twenty times since we were kids together and know the movie inside and out. We can say lines from scenes in the movie while someone is singing the music in the background. Wait, is that something to be proud of…?

Glory follows the story of the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first official African American regiments during the civil war, led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.

It’s got all the good stuff you’d expect from a movie like this – courage, brotherhood, determination, grit, and sacrifice. It’s got a ton of great personal stories that are disparate to start but which all merge together beautifully before the climactic final battle, which wins them the hearts and hopes of their fellow soldiers.

And then they all die.

Oops, maybe I should have announced spoiler alert. Or do I have to do that for a movie that came out in 1989?

Well just in case, SPOILER ALERT

They all die.

And I think this is the amazing part of this movie. Even when you know they die, the movie is still good. In fact, I think it’s better.

All the characters go into that last battle knowing they’re going to die. It’s only the audience that maybe still thinks they will win the day, because that’s what happens in Hollywood movies, right?

But the moment you know they all die in the end, then every moment in the movie seems more real, more honest. Everything they do and say and believe in feels more powerful because you know that’s the last things they will ever do or say or believe in.

We first saw this movie when were 13, and it changed us. Well, as much as anything can change 13 year old boys, of course.

But there was a power here. A realization that what we did or believed in could matter. Sure we weren’t going to charge Fort Wagner or any other fort manned by thousands of confederate soldiers, but we all grew up believing that if any one of us had to, we would all do it beside one another.

And we still do.

Especially when there’s scotch involved.

Alright, back to Elinor and then on to Ferran next week. We’re hoping to get a copy of Elinor out to our betas by the weekend. We’re pretty proud of how it turned it out, and really can’t wait to share it.

Stay tuned. Stay Frosty.

Joe

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