Spellbound by Movies is a passion project. I fell in love with movies at a young age. As an only child I might have been more susceptible to their lure. I was making up my own stories already, and I grew up in a place rich with history, which meant listening to others’ stories. Seeing a movie on the big screen or on TV, I was able to suspend my disbelief and let the magic of the movies wash over me.
In a lot of ways, I feel lucky to have grown up when I did. My family are moviegoers, and they took me when I was too little to take myself or make my own film choices. My maternal grandfather loved country music, and he used to make up stories of knowing cowboys like John Wayne or belles like Mae West. I knew his stories were fabrications, but they were fun nonetheless.
Weekend TV was full of classic comedies like Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello as well as creature and horror features from Universal and other studios. Black and white was simply another viewing option, not an impediment to enjoyment. Some of the comedies were talkies and some were silent save for their musical score. All were funny.
We got cable when I was in elementary school, and my options of movie choices expanded. Perhaps M was a little intense for an elementary school-aged child to watch by herself, it was disturbing, but I was blown away by how powerful a movie it was and how a balloon floating away could say so much about another child’s fate. Channels like AMC and later TCM gave me greater exposure to film classics.
Then the home video explosion occurred and became affordable, and I could watch anything available to rent on VHS from the teen favorites of those who a little older than I was to horror, foreign, art house and more. I was old enough not to drive yet, but I could rent my own movies. I kept watching as VHS shifted to DVDs and as my friends and I got old enough to drive ourselves.
When I started taking film classes at my university, I came to some realizations. I had a very good memory for films and their details compared to my peers. I could recall scenes in detail they couldn’t, and I had aural abilities that allowed me to recognize pieces of music quickly, like soundtrack music. I had a facility for talking about film that improved under instruction. I also developed a greater appreciation for silent film inspired by a classroom screening of The Wind.
When I left school, I graduated with a renewed love of film. It later showed itself in the silent film nights I organized at Flywheel, where I served as a member of the arts collective for several years. It shows itself in my reading choices and book collection and in the art I have on my walls. It shows in my movie logging on Twitter, where I often record watching out-of-print movies on VHS secured by interlibrary loan by my husband, also a movie lover.
Even though I may offer more criticism of the medium now, it’s done with love and enthusiasm, never cynicism or nihilism. My goals are to discuss the medium and to connect with others. If anything more comes from the blog, fantastic! If not, it’s time well spent. Who wouldn’t want to be spellbound at least once in a while?