[Editor's Note: Leslye Headland, whose debut film 'Bachelorette' opens on September 7th is today's very special guest blogger. I'm loving this memoir -Nathaniel R]
When preparing for this guest blog, I thought about what I would’ve written about if I were guest blogging seven years ago as my blogger alter ego, Arden. Most likely I would’ve wanted to get super nerdy and introspective so here we go:
If you’re like me, movies are your life. They cheer you up. They bring you down. They connect you to people. They alienate you from others. You develop passionate arguments about the state of film today. You rehearse those arguments in your head then unleash them upon unsuspecting acquaintances during an otherwise friendly gathering. They can get you a job. (I truly believe my first assistant gig was secured by my encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars). They can get you laid. (My number one turn-on in bed? Oscar trivia.)
As Truffaut said, we are sick people. But we weren’t always this way. What happened? Well, if you go back in your life, I bet you can find the most formative years were shaped by a handful of films. I decided to take a look at the symbiotic nature of what I watched and when I watched it.
Love and Death (1975, dir. Woody Allen)
This is the first film I ever remember watching. I slept on the top bunk in the bedroom I shared with my sister. From there, I could see the TV in the living room and would watch films my parents put on when they thought we were asleep. Love and Death was mind-fuck for an eight year old. Absurd physical comedy coupled with Prokofiev? It looked like a grown-up film but it was funny enough to entertain a child. However all the Bergman references were unsettling. I was filled with joy and a tinge of dread. Later in life, a professor described my senior thesis directing project as “the work of a sincerely disturbed person who has an infantile sense of humor.” I blame Woody.
The Philadelphia Story (1940, dir. George Cukor)
Rear Window (1954, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
Being brought up in a strict religious home where pop culture was shunned, it was all glamour all the time. No 80s teen movies or cartoons for me (I didn't see The Goonies til I was 27) ...