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Monday, August 24, 2009

See an Old Favorite Movie

A week ago I suggested that you "Read an Old Favorite Book." This one's similar.

When I was a kid, there were two theaters we could go to, the Temple and the El Monte. These places were big, before the mallification of American cinemas.

Sitting there in the dark with my brothers and friends, I went to places much farther away than the China where I now live.

I've revisited some of those films in recent years: Disney greats, and The Duke; heroes and villains (and sometimes someone kissed a girl--yuck).

Every time a Broadway musical made it to film, my mom dragged us to see it: My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, and (one of my favorites to this day) The Music Man. Thanks, Mom.

With the exception of Gypsy, I've made my wife sit through all of these; and when I find it, we'll watch that, too.

I've also "forced" her to watch Excalibur, Silverado, Time Bandits, and The Outlaw Josey Wales--and that's just recently. (It's too bad we have to watch these on a TV screen in our room. If you can find an old favorite on a big screen, good for you.)

And now I'm twisting the minds of a whole generation of Chinese students. Every semester my kids watch my all-time favorite, The Wizard of Oz. I've shown it so many times I can now recite much of the dialogue. Some of my students have also seen To Kill a Mocking Bird, High Noon (requested by presidents in the White House theater more than any other film), The Lion King, and one lucky class got to see The Gods Must Be Crazy.

With all the media available to us now, there's no reason not to go find one of those films that changed your life, and share it with those around you.

You'll be happier.

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