12 October 2008

How To Enjoy Your Day Despite Having a Cold (Hint: Answer Involves Movies)

What does a chap like me do when sidelined by a nasty cold? Shouldn't it be obvious? Sofa + DVD player = productive day despite achiness, chills, headache.

After pouring through the Sunday New York Times without the depth I normally dedicate to this pursuit (the local San Francisco Chronicle's Sunday edition does not require a similar commitment in time, save to weed out all the advertising supplements) it was time to make a viewing choice.

I needed a comfort movie. One I was well familiar with and was rewarding but not too demanding. Something along the lines of Taxi Driver (1976) or No Country for Old Men (2007) wouldn't do. I needed something lighter. Perfect choice: Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933). A movie to fit any mood. And sure to provide succor to the ailing.

People like Guy Kibbee, Joan Blondell and Ned Sparks are good company when one is down. Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler are especially easy to take when an illness has hold of the body. Warren William and Aline MacMahon are perfectly delightful and a young Ginger Rogers is a wonderful bonus. In addition to the convivial characters there is a charming story line liberally spiced with laughs and handsomely supplemented by songs and Busby Berkeley dance numbers.

During Gold Diggers I decided on a quite natural second feature: Bonny & Clyde (1967). You see the connection don't? Oh come on, of course you do! There's a perfectly natural tie in. Those of you know don't shout it out. Aw come on, this is silly...

What movie is on the screen when do Bonnie, Clyde and CW Moss slipped into the movie theater after the botched getaway from the bank robbery involving CW?

Right! Extra credit for those of you who knew.

Yes, I see your hand back there. What's that? How is Bonnie & Clyde a comfort movie? Good question. I suppose part of the answer is that it isn't. But it was such revolutionary film making and remains so fresh and vibrant today that watching it lifts the spirits. I know, I know, there is blood, Estelle Parsons screaming, Gene Hackman dying and issues related to the Depression are touched upon, but there is an exuberance to Bonnie & Clyde that, along with its humor, qualifies it as suitable sick day viewing.

Here's something that occurred to me during the movie: The release of Bonnie & Clyde was closer in time to the events depicted than we are today to the release of the film. You say you don't get it? I'll restate. The movie came out about 33 years after the death of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. We are currently 41 years removed from the film's release. Makes ya think. (did me anyway.)

No, young man, I do not remember the real Bonnie & Clyde and stop snickering. I did, however see the film when it first came out. I remember my Dad taking me on a Friday night to the UC theater in Berkeley. One of this city's many now defunct theaters. (One supposes you have to at one time been funct to achieve defunct status.)

Okay I have a confession to make. I left something out....

Wait, there's more!

Also watched an episode of Foyle's War on DVD with the missus. It's a Sunday night tradition of ours. I promise to devout a post exclusively to this wonderful British series in the near future.

So while allowing my body to recover I accomplished quite a lot. Watched two great films and an episode of a terrific series.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll feel better and get other sorts of things done. I hope so. But I doubt I'll enjoy my day any more than I did this one.


Chief said...


May I suggest an addition to your blog? It should be realatively easy because I'm guessing you have this somewhere, if only in your head.

We need a series of Top 10 lists from you for different genres, viewer moods, circumstances, etc. Like this post could lend itself to a "Top 10 Movies for when you have a Cold" list. You readers demand satisfaction!

Cheers, Chief.

p.s. Do admire my restraint for NOT posting under the Scary Sarah entry?!?!!?!

Richard Hourula said...

That's a heckuva good idea. I'll work on some. Cheers!

Chief said...

You Betcha!