Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Elusive Nature of Timelessness

Didn't feel like thinking tonight; was too tired to read; I decided I just wanted to take my mind off the hook for a few hours, so I stepped into the family room and surveyed The Permanent Collection.

Tough choice.

I mean, there are so many movies I could watch, and I know I'd enjoy watching them again even though I've seen them uncounted times before. No, I don't mean movies I just want to watch over and over again until the images are burned into my retinas, the way my daughters watched The Little Mermaid when they were young. I mean movies that are like old friends, who you love to visit even though you know they're just going to tell you the same old stories and crack the same old jokes every time. Still, you indulge them, because there's just some charming je ne sais quois at work.

Some are "special occasion" movies. For example, every June I get a strange compulsion to sit down with The Kid and watch The Longest Day all over again, and right about this time every year we usually dig out the old VHS copies of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Ghostbusters. Other movies have key scenes that I look forward to every time, even though I know down to the SMPTE timestamp the exact moment it's going to happen. For example, Tremors: "YOU PICKED THE WRONG G*D D*MNED REC ROOM TO BREAK INTO, DIDN'T YOU?!?!"

And then there are other movies that I just plain lose myself in for the entire duration, and don't begrudge a single slack moment, clunking line of dialogue, or lead-footed musical number. Number One with a bullet is Casablanca. I don't believe I will ever get tired of that one, no matter how many times I see it. Oddly enough, my next four choices are probably Star Wars, 1941, The Right Stuff, and lately, Team America. There's must be some kind of commonality at work here, but I have no idea what it might be.

How about you? What's your pick for the movie you'll never get tired of, no matter how many times you see it?