Wednesday, October 22, 2008

La Magie du Cinéma

I’m a huge fan of films and the magic of cinema is something I’ve always found enthralling. The magic can work on many different levels. The magic may be reflected in the style and techniques used by an innovative filmmaker. It may relate to the experience of sitting in a cinema surrounded by strangers, yet connecting with these cinema-goers through the shared viewing of motion picture art in the same space at the same time. The magic can also be present, most importantly to me, in the way a film makes you feel. Some films have the ability to can change your perspective to a positive one when not all is ok in the world. I like to call these comfort films. The ones you seek out when you need a lift. An escape. A little hope. I have a couple of comfort films in my collection. Harold & Maude being one, and I’ve previously posted about my obsession with this brilliant film. My other comfort film is one called Band of Outsiders (aka: bande a part), a Jean-Luc Goddard (one of my all-time favourite directors) film made in the mid 60s.


There is one particular scene in this film, one of the most joyous, enchanting and affecting scenes in cinema history, that makes everything feel just right with the world. I realise that not all is ok in the world and I’m not so naive to believe it ever will be either. However, while watching the characters Arthur, Odile and Franz perform a delightful impromptu version of the Madison dance in a half-empty smoky Parisian café, the world is a perfect place. At least for an approximate running time of 4 mins & 16 secs it is. Oh how I wish they could dance forever! Do you have any comfort films? If so, I'd love to know yours!

24 comments:

Victoria said...

I also love to escape into the magical world of film. (And couldn't we all use a bit of escaping these days?)

"Harold and Maude" is certainly at the top of my list, too! Other old films that always lift my spirits and put a smile on my face are "The Enchanted Cottage", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", "Harvey", "The Long, Long Trailer", and "Arsenic and Old Lace". I could watch these all over and over again!

I haven't yet seen "Band of Outsiders", and will most definitely have to watch it! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa B. said...

They are sooo cool...you are soooo cool! I don't think I've ever seen that movie before. I want to now :D

I wish I could be so cool...but rarely have I ever seen a movie more than once.

Hey Harriet said...

Lisa B -

Yes they are cool. You are also cool Lisa. I don't fall into the cool category... but thanks anyways :)

Chocolate and Steel said...

Beautiful post! I feel that way about Fellini films. They make me feel like maybe I am not soooo odd after all:)

Sandra Ree said...

Loved the clip from Band of Outsiders T! Like you, I was wishing they could dance forever!

Most of my comfort films are chessy love stories that were hits in the 70's and 80's. And there were so many of them, I couldn't possibly list them all! lol

Twinkle Star Art said...

I loved that dance! I feel a bit like dancing now :)
I see what you mean about how movies can give a bit of comfort when you're feeling a little out of it. Thanks for sharing! As for my comfort movie? I might have to have little think about that and get back to you.

M.Kate said...

Hey T :D
I've never heard of your movie before but I am sure it's great :D Comfort films..like comfort food right? I've got plenty, anything that's mushy with a happy ending is a hit with me, I dont like sad endings..Happy week, bet you are busy taking pics for SSS :D big hugs

High Desert Diva said...

I've never thought about comfort movies before, and I rarely see a film more than once. Let me ponder this...

Spitting Image said...

I am actually working on a blog post about the same thing.

For me, I've always loved the similar endings of Fellini's 8 1/2 and Big Fish, in which all the people join together because of one common person. It's like attending your own funeral, but in a happy way.

Any Occasion Boutique said...

Wow, a comfort film. I have never thought of that before! You are just too awesome ;-)

Ali said...

I just love that image from the movie you've included Tracy - it has a simple happiness to it.
{whispers...} my comfort film has to be "Grease" - they sing, I sing and I'm happy! So not cool, but I think I've come to terms with that!!
Ali :)

amy said...

My mom and I love to watch Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. It's not so much a feel good film but it cheers us up for some reason.

Another one we like is "You Can't Take it With You." that's another good classic that we like to watch over and over.

I am going to check out your movie because I've never seen it. Maybe we'll have to add it to our list too.

Claire, said...

Harriet, I love the way you describe this scene.
My comfort movie is: Local Hero.
It's a must see film. Shot in the most beautiful land of Scotland, staring the amazing Burt Lancaster. It's a hilarious, and seriously important movie.
"And are there too G's in Bugger off!"

please sir said...

What a great scene! Mine is kind of crazy, but Beaches is my comfort movie. Always watched it with my mom and sisters and always makes me cry!

Lisa B. said...

I had to come back and watch that little clip again this morning...I'm smiling now :D

Gina said...

I don't know this one T..but it sounds wonderful! I'm sure I have comfort films..just can't think of many..on Love Actually which always makes me laugh and cry..but feeling very good at the end..M and I went and saw Burn after Reading last night..not sure how I felt after that one! :D

Katie said...

I love her hat in the video! They are great dancers.

Bascom Hogue said...

Ha, good post. My comfort films, damn, I just realized I need to get a comfort film or two.

jess said...

What a happy video clip. Makes me want to see the whole movie now! Harold & Maude is my favorite movie. I like Amelie also because it makes me smile.

I found your blog via Spitting Image. So glad I did! I love all the Sunday photos. I'll have to start a blog so I can join in! I only have Flickr. Can I play with Flickr?

Greyscale Territory said...

I so love "Sister Act" where Whoopi Goldberg is in the role of Sister Mary Clarence! This one gets me smiling every time!

Hate to say it, I have never seen "Harold and Maude".

Hey Harriet said...

Jess -

Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Nice to hear that you're keen to join in on SSS, & yes you will need a blog to participate. Hope you get that blog started. Let me know if you do so I can visit :)

Gallery Juana said...

I love what they are wearing. This movie looks fun to watch.

I think any movie will put me in a good mood.

FCP said...

Can't wait to check this film out, thanks for sharing. Harold and Maude would be in my top ten list too. And 'Raising Arizona", "Young Frankenstein", "My Cousin Vinny" and "The Way We Were"-(just to name a few!)
Faye

Sam said...

OMG Snap - Tracy! Look at this beautiful post!!! I raise my champagne glass to you, we clink and give a toast to simpatico folk!