My origin story is actually two-fold, but together they make a great deal of sense. Ultimately, for me it's a story of wanting to be a complete-ist and being slightly obsessive. One night, while I was in middle school, I couldn't fall asleep and I decided to flip through the channels. During my channel surfing I found a movie on WPIX (Old school Channel 11 in NY, before it became the WB/CW). The movie was Dogfight, starring River Phoenix and Lili Taylor.
I was in awe, amazed, hooked. I didn't know a movie could be like that and I didn't know actors could be like River Phoenix. I decided then that I had to know everything about him and see every movie he had been in. Thus, my Actor Phases were born. Initially, I was dismayed to find that River Phoenix had passed away and so young! I couldn't believe that such a talent could have been gone already and that I had only just discovered him. But, I decided to dive right in.
|I tried to find the oldest logo, but did not succeed|
The Thin Man and The Thin Man series. I heeded his advice and Netflicked it in the summer of 2006 and LOVED it. It was so clever and funny. I was smitten. I promptly watched the 5 sequels in quick succession.
1001 Movies you Must See Before You Die, I don't exactly recall how the list came to me, but once I found it I was super cocky and thought, 'Oh, I've always watched lots of movies, I'm sure I've seen most of these.' I actually just found an email conversation between me and a friend of mine in October of 2006 in which I boldly claim, "I've probably seen about half of the movies in there." But I was very much schooled by the list and on my first go through I had only seen about 200 of the movies. I also shared the list with my friends and wanted to see how I fared with my peers. It turned out one of my friends had seen more movies than me and then uttered the phrase that has fueled me for the last 8 years. He said to me, "You will never defeat me." Gauntlet thrown, my friend, gauntlet throw. (I can be a little competitive sometimes).
Netflix, TCM, the now unfortunately closed RocketVideo, Cinefile and my local libraries. It's been such a fun challenge to track down these movies throughout the years. And really interesting to see certain movies that were inaccessible 7 or 8 years ago, now be available through streaming services or places like WarnerArchive. I've tried to maintain a spreadsheet and I even had a blog for a short while to track my progress, indicate where and how I was able to see the movie, and keep a little journal so I would remember some of the movies, but as you may have noticed I don't update things as well as I should.
Daryl Hickman, Dickie Moore, Jane Withers and Margaret O'Brien.
|Here's a tee-tiny picture of them found at TCM.com|
Well, that's the long and short of, mostly long, how I became the huge classic film fan that I am today. It's been a wonderful journey and has introduced me to so many wonderful people, experiences, and of course movies over the years. After going back over all of these experiences it seems like it was just the right mixture of things at the right time. And I'm very glad they all happened.
So there's my Classic Film Fan origin story. What's yours? How were you introduced to classic film and when did it become an overwhelming passion?