Education in the Classics

I've been watching a lot of older movies lately. In fact, a glance over my queue at netflix would reveal that most of my waiting movies were made before 1990. I seem to feel a need right now to educate myself on some of the legendary works of the past. What's to blame for this urge for pop-culture education? Well, for starters, I partially blame Gilmore Girls. Odd, I know, but if you've seen the show you can probably guess where I am going with this. There are tons of pop-culture references in that show, and while I am pretty sharp on a good many of them, some just escape me completely. That's the first reason for my quest. The second can basically be attributed to Entertainment Weekly. I subscribed to this magazine for several years, and even though I recently cancelled my subscription (just another unnecessary expense at the moment), I visit the website almost every day. Not too long ago, they published a list of the best tearjerker films of all time. Dramas are basically my favorite movie genre, and yet I was struck by how many movies on that list I was not familiar with. And so began my quest...

Of the few movies I've watched so far, Casablanca is my definite favorite. I am not sure why I waited so long to sit down and watch this movie, since I always thought it sounded like one I would like. I was so right! I have seen it three times in the past few months, and it only gets better. Last night I happened to catch Out of Africa on HBO, and since I have a passion for all things related to Africa (I will go there one day!!), I settled in to watch. It is a long movie (nearly three hours), but I was not disappointed. Meryl Streep was fabulous, as she always is. It was also a little bittersweet watching one of Sydney Pollack's most well-known films just a few days after his death.

My film education is already paying off... While watching Gilmore Girls on DVD a few weeks ago, I came across a reference to The Way We Were, a movie I knew was waiting on my Netflix queue. For anyone familiar with the Gilmores, it was referenced in the episode where Lorelai and Luke break up; she is "wallowing" in her sadness, and calls Luke in a moment of weakness. She gets his answering machine, and in typical Gilmore fashion, proceeds to leave a very poignant and verbose message. She references the movie The Way We Were, saying that when Katie and Hubble broke up, she called him because she just wanted to talk to her best friend, even though he was the reason she was sad. Likewise, Lorelai called Luke, her best friend, in her sadness, even though he was the reason for the pain. I now know the exact scene Lorelai was talking about! I am always excited when I get to remove a movie from my netflix list, and I love the feeling of having a new one waiting in the mailbox. Recommendations are always welcome!
Next up: Brief Encounter, from 1946.

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