Friday, June 3, 2011

fabulous films friday

I have been a huge fan of film since I was old enough to watch it. To give you a sense of how deep my love for film goes, I will just say that my first favorite film (besides a Disney movie) was The Color Purple when I was six years old. Yeah, pretty heavy stuff for a six year old, but I loved it. My parents would wake up in the middle of the night because I had learned how to work the VHS machine and watch this very film. I remember it vividly because my mom never let me forget it. It's pretty odd that a kid that age would be so fascinated with a film of such heavy themes...

but I digress.

I think about films a lot. I replay them over and over again in my head when I'm not watching them. I love to talk about them with fellow film lovers and buffs. I can go to the theater and watch two, even three movies in a row.

Film really helped me as a kid dealing with the illness and death of a parent at a young age. It was my greatest escape... and still is. Most of the memories I have from those terrible times are surrounded around what movies I was watching. It may not have been the healthiest outcome, but it was all that I had... and music and books, but films? Oh films were on the highest pedestal... 

yet I digress once again.

I have decided that since I love films so much, since I think about them at least half of the time I am awake and even dream of them when I am asleep, that I would start a little something called Fabulous Films Friday here on He Calls Me Wifey. It will be a weekly post featuring a film that I love, whether it be one from my childhood or one that I saw that week. Any film that pops into my brain that I know I love and could write about, I will feature it on Fridays.

So for my first installment, I thought I would feature one of my favorite films of all time: 

If you have not seen Amélie, you need to. It doesn't matter if you do not like foreign films or if reading subtitles isn't your thing. If I could get David to watch it, someone who's attention span for films is very short, especially at the time I forced him to watch it, you will be fine. You will forget that you are reading them after a while because you will be so engrossed in what is happening on screen. I can just about guarantee that you will enjoy it, if not love it.

Amélie takes place in Paris, Montmartre specifically, where Amélie grew up and works as a waitress at Café des 2 Moulins (The Two Windmills). Her excursions showcase a part of Paris that is very bohemian, very eccentric and beautiful, especially the scene that takes place at the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris). I have visited Paris three times already and have plans to go again. The only city that I have visited more than Paris is New York City. I fell in love with the idea of Paris as a very young girl and getting the chance to visit with my French class in high school only fanned the flame of my love for that magical place. Last time I was in Paris, on my honeymoon, David and I visited Café des 2 Moulins for the first time. It was much smaller than I expected and looked different from the film, but it was so fun to be sitting in the same café where one of my favorite films was made. Of course, there were Amélie posters, photos and souvenirs to be had there, but just the experience of sitting at a table for a few minutes was delightful.

There are so many reasons why this film is special to me. The fact that it takes place in Paris is initially what made me love the film, but the more that I watched it, the more I fell in love with the themes of the film, with the characters, the soundtrack (which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful soundtracks ever by Yann Tiersen. I listen to it quite often), the cinematography, the narration, the editing, the performances. I love how the film brings out the magical characteristics of not only the city, but of humanity. There is an element of the fantastical and the ridiculous, but within that there is beauty, humor, sadness, heartbreak, disappointment and love. While trying to help make the lives of those around her more rich, more filled with the spirit of humanity, more full of love and reconciliation (or to put a few in their place), she ends up facing her own demons and allowing those very people to alter and enrich her own life. 

Whenever I'm feeling uninspired or down, I know that Amélie will set me straight and lift my spirits.

{all photos found on Tumblr}

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