selfie preservation #015
Tell me about a movie you have seen more than 3 times
I have seen SO many movies more than 3 times, lol. I grew up on the Disney VHS collection, so any Disney movie animated and given a home VHS release between 1937 and 1998 (Snow White to Mulan, let’s say), I have seen more than 3 times. Yes, obviously the 90s Disney Princess Renaissance, but even some of the less popular ones that were harder to get your hands on, like the Sword in the Stone, The Great Mouse Detective, and The Aristocats.
There is a real possibility this is the first movie I ever saw in a theater, and upon Googling the movie poster, remember this poster very clearly.
I have seen those coming-of-age movies that felt really important and palatable as an adolescent, of which there was a proliferation during my late 90s/early 00s adolescence; some meant something, others were just on cable a lot. She’s All That. 10 Things I Hate about You. Cruel Intentions. Drive Me Crazy. Bring It On. MEAN GIRLS. Not to mention the true classic coming-of-age high school movies that were technically before my time, but felt more real because they were serious; people shouted at each other and meant it. You know, the John Hughes trifecta: Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club. Not to mention those that came before me that didn’t take themselves that seriously, but still meant it: Clueless. Grease. Dazed and Confused. Hell, even the coming-of-age movies that came out after I had considered I had come of age (spoiler: I hadn’t yet!!!!). To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lady Bird. Pitch Perfect (lol).
This is not to be confused with my late teen thirst phase, which, fortunately for me, coincided with the rise of a certain kind of movie and movie star that worked for my burgeoning sense of desire. These have offhandedly been referred to as “sword and sandal movies,” which remains a favorite genre of mine, and in the early aughts, often starred a certain kind of man in Hollywood (ok ok ok I literally just mean anything Orlando Bloom was in between Lord of the Rings and Kingdom of Heaven, as well as his less popular roles in contemporary shit he was in like Elizabethtown and Haven.) I saw Pirates of the Caribbean four times in the theaters, I saw TROY FIVE TIMES IN THEATERS (double billing of Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt as Paris and Achilles — come the fuck on! — was extremely hard for me to resist).
One of the greatest Shakespeare adaptations of all time, no further questions.
I have seen most classic Christmas movies more than 3 times; with my family, with my in-laws, with my partner. I literally watched Love Actually everyday between Thanksgiving and Christmas for YEARS. Literally! For 3 years in college, and then a few after, I watched (or “ambient watched” or whatever the fucking algorithm calls it these days) Love Actually every. single. day. If there are 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, let’s say, that means I have seen the 2003 Richard Curtis movie that everyone basically hates now (aside: I don’t!) over 100 TIMES!!!! This makes it my top watched Christmas movie (and probably any movie) of all time, but I have obviously seen others more than 3 times: Christmas Vacation. Home Alone. It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve been making the case to include Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan into the annual Christmas movie rotation since 2018, and it is still not catching on.
Yes, I know it’s culturally/socially/politically problematic, but there is a bit of bumbling joy in it that I have a soft spot for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
And then of course there are the movies I’ve seen more than 3 times for different reasons, or rather, with different people in my life with whom the movies mean something to us; we imprint meaning on these movies, to our relationship, to the way we see ourselves and that relationship, and not just because it’s Christmas or we’re hungover scrolling through the cable listings (circa 2002-2015), or the “Uplifting RomComs with a Strong Female Leader” Netflix is always shilling (2016-present).
When I was growing up, this was with my friend Bird1. We spent so many hours, days, weekends, together just fucking CHILLING. We didn’t spend that much time pursuing or talking about boys, or hatching plans to get booze or weed (ok we actually never did that); we literally spent most of our time together in her basement, drinking cans of pop and watching movies. I owe her a lot when it comes to my taste level in movies (some would argue this does not exist, that I have no taste in movies — see Love Actually example above!!!), because she knew about cool and actually artistic movies, not just whatever happened to be released that week at the mall AMC or airing constantly on TNT. She introduced me to Christopher Guest movies, specifically, and to the concept of “director” as a discernible genre, generally. I am incredibly grateful for that.
“'No way, Corky, you're not puttin' up with these people!' And I'll tell you why I can't put up with you people - because you're bastard people! That's what you are! You're just bastard people! And I'm goin' home and I'm gonna, I'm gonna bite my pillow, is what I'm gonna do!”
This is not to say we didn’t spend a LOT of time watching shitty teen movies. We can recite Empire Records and/or Can’t Hardly Wait back and forth from memory like a tennis match (we would also argue these are NOT shitty teen movies). I am pretty sure we are the only people who ever saw the 2001 adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Get Over It (starring iconic, laconic queen Kirsten Dunst). These movies felt like our thing, a way for us to be friends that felt separate, and if I’m honest, sophisticated. Art, in its traditional forms, like music, film, and literature, was not a big part of my family’s way of being in the world. We had sophisticated knowledge of certain sports, certain teams and their histories; this was where we concentrated our tastes. So someone needed to teach me how to see and appreciate art beyond what was easily consumed on MTV. She did this for me.
This knowledge and elevation of my taste level (lol) turned out to be more useful in falling in love with my partner than my sports knowledge, which, according to my mom, was a surefire way to impress a man. Neither my sister nor I married men who gave a shit about our sports knowledge.
When we fell in love in 2008, it was important to him to share movies with me and I was open to that. Yes, because we were in college and got off on pretension, and yes, because I wanted to impress him, but also because I knew I didn’t know that much about movies and wanted to learn more. And I have! And some of that learning has taught me what I don’t like (honestly, a lot of movies and movie genres), and having him learn that just because I don’t like a movie or director doesn’t mean I don’t understand or appreciate the art; sometimes I just don’t want to spend my free time watching something I don’t enjoy! *whispers* also a lot of respected cinema is men navel-gazing and that storytelling can get very stale!!!
This is a convoluted way of saying that we have watched so many movies more than three times together. We have movies that we watch annually (not just Christmas movies!) just because we like them, or it’s the right time of year or they have a vibe we want to get into. Thanksgiving movies. Summer movies. Movies about a place we are visiting or going to visit.
As I mentioned, I don’t actually like that many movies, so we also have to identify directors that we both like and try to work our way through their oeuvre: Wes Anderson. Nicole Holofcener. Steven Soderbergh. Greta Gerwig. Richard Linklater.
Richard Linklater. When I say we were falling in love and there were important movies to share with me, at the top of the list was the Before trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight. These movies are so important to us, one of readings at our wedding was from Before Sunrise. We named our cat Celine after Julie Delpy’s character! I think I mean it when I say that after we watched these movies for the first time (the first two anyway; the third came out years after we had been together and is honestly a terrifying portrayal of marriage and motherhood), I realized he could be the person I fell in love with. I felt (I feel!) seen by these movies in a way I hadn’t felt seen in a movie before; I felt him see me and that felt really powerful.
“Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.”
And then, finally, there are movies that are mine. Movies that I watch by myself, movies that I can watch over and over because I know them and they comfort me. Mamma Mia. Marie Antoinette. Magic Mike (I have a 25 minute slide deck about all the things Magic Mike has to say about capitalism, sexuality and masculinity that I made just for fun!!!), plus movies I will watch on a plane over and over again, like Crazy Rich Asians or A Star is Born (2018 version, which, after the first time I saw it in a theater I had a panic attack which my therapist has linked to subconscious disappointment in men!!! This is a discussion for another time, though).
Kiki will always be a queen to me!
I would never call myself a film enthusiast or a movie buff or anything like that, but movies have allowed me to make really meaningful connections with some really important people in my life, including myself. I will almost always choose a book over a movie, but there are way more movies I’ve seen three or more times than books I’ve read three or more times.
I had to pause in the middle of this because I was crying too hard
We deserve a “Zahnaissance”!!!
“One night I sit at the edge of a warehouse rave nodding into the void and think to myself: what a relief, to enter this blankness where nothing matters.”
“And they are gorgeous, aren't they? Yes, you heard that right, THEY.”
She knows who she is lol