Saturday, January 1, 2011

An Excellent Day for an Exorcism

It’s almost a daily occurrence. I’m talking or doing or puttering and the sentence or phrase just pops into my little pea brain and the dialogue returns, a picture flashes in my mind’s eye and eventually the whole movie returns from the dark recesses of my head.

I like movies, good, bad, sad, funny, dumb, I like movies. It’s one of our activities. Marty and I go to the movies on almost a weekly basis. She enjoys being out, I enjoy the big screen. I’m not particularly sophisticated or discriminating in my film tastes so we go see everything and anything that meets our criteria, which is mostly the time of day it starts at our favorite theatre, the one where they recognize us and have our popcorn and drinks ready for us as we walk in the building. We do best with 1 pm to 2 pm start times, no one goes then so we are often alone in the theatre, very cool.

The thing about watching a lot of movies is you get some stuff stuck in your brain, some dialogue, some snippets from the different films that are triggered by different moments. I never fail to see Billy Chrystal standing and waving and saying, “Have fun storming the castle,” as I bid family or friends adieu. I just want to say it every time someone drives off from our house.

At church, when our minister Jimmie stands at the baptismal font and puts his hand in the water and lets it run through his fingers as he greets the congregation I see a river and hear a low haunting voice say, “I’m haunted by waters.” I’m haunted by the end of that movie.

Every time I see a Robert Duvall film I can’t help but think of him, mounted on his horse with his hat over his heart look down at a young Diane Lane and say, “Lori darlin’,” and then ride off into the proverbial sunset. I may tear up just a tad.

Maybe my two favorite lines come in the way of a very brief dialogue between two of my favorite actors. Robert Duvall, “I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.” John Wayne replies, “Fill your hands you son-of-a-bitch,” I say that daily to someone. It’s one of the great visual scenes in the movie.

Now picture the ubiquitous baseball manager, as played by Trey Wilson, livid about the last, most recent loss. He is at his wits end when the sage veteran catcher tells him to scare the young players. He throws a pile of baseball bats into the shower with the players and delivers one of the best motivational speeches of all time, “You guys, you lollygag your way around the infield, you lollygag your way around first, you lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you.....That’s right, Lollygaggers.” I have loved the word lollygaggers since I first saw this movie and I try to use it every time it seems appropriate. It’s amazing how often I get to use it.

There are so many snippets of movies that have become part of the everyday lexicon of our society that you hear, that you think, that you say. “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse,” “Life is like a box of chocolates,” “Badges. We ain’t got no badges, we don’t need no badges I don’t have to show you any stinkin badges,” and “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” These are just a few, I’m sure as you have read this more have tickled your neurons.

I’m not sure why some of these words stick in my brain. I don’t know if it’s the juxtaposition of the words or maybe it’s my ears and my eyes combining to make an indelible impression on my head. All I know is every time I see Linda Blair I remember her stating in rather graphic terms, “ What an excellent day for an exorcism.”

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Some that have tickled my neurons:

"You can't handle the truth"

"So you're telling me there's a chance"

"Did you get the memo?"