More movies interrupted

We had a Gene Wilder day today. Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka, Young Frankenstein. During Young Frankenstein, both my wife and I noticed—for the first time, even though it’s one of her favorite movies and I’ve got to have seen it almost ten times—Kenneth Mars is wearing the monocle over the patch. The other thing about Young Frankenstein is I always have fractured memories of seeing it before. The first time I saw it, I didn’t finish watching it. I don’t know why. Maybe it was on TV? It’s not long enough to have been on TV over two nights; I distinctly remember seeing it as a kid and not getting much past the birth of the monster. My mom was not a Mel Brooks fan—one of my parents suffered through Spaceballs in the theater with me—but she liked Young Frankenstein. I’m sure there are other movies out there I have vague memories of seeing as a kid, only they were on TV—I remember the first time I ever saw any of Manhunter, my best friend’s mom was watching it and she was showing us Brian Cox’s version of Hannibal Lecter. We were only interested in Silence of the Lambs, which had just won best picture. There’s another secret of youth—I used to really follow the Academy Awards. Fast forward a few years and I had no time for Lambs and was Manhunter all day, every day. How we watch movies, more than how we read books (unless audiobooks but I never listen to anything serious on audiobook), leaves an impression. Emotional memories get tied to the circumstances of watching the film, creating nostalgia when maybe there shouldn’t be any nostalgia. Sometimes, maybe all there should be is nostalgia. Separating the two either is or isn’t important, depending on what you want to get out of a film.

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