Saturday, October 27, 2007

Me and the Movies


I have a couple of quirks about motion pictures -- well, more than a couple actually, but only two that I want to talk about right now. One is that I almost always stay and watch the final credits -- all of the final credits. I have three reasons for doing this 1.) I believe that the key grip or the best boy is as responsible for the success of the movie I've just seen as the egomaniacs who get their names up on the screen before the movie starts and this is my way of paying my respects to the unsung, 2.) This is a great way to see your next movie for free; most theaters follow a code that does not allow them to start cleaning the theater until everyone is gone, but most theater cleaners don't know this; when they turn on the lights and start cleaning before the credits are over, I find a manager and complain and invariably I get free movie passes. Reason#3.) I will get to in just a second.
My other quirk is summed up in a sentence I uttered to my future-wife when we first started dating. I told her, "There are only three kinds of movies I will go see -- comedies, romances and romantic comedies." And that's true, if a movie's not romantic or funny or preferably both, that movie won't get my $8.50. (Which is also reason #3 as to why I stay and watch the credits -- the kind of movies I go to see affect me and watching the credits gives me a chance to collect myself emotionally.)
So tonight my wife and I had another perfect date. It began with Atlantic salmon encrusted with blue cornmeal and covered with a radish-watermelon glaze, haricot verts, fingerling potatoes and Greek salad at our favorite restaurant, the Mustard Seed. And then we went to the movies and saw a great one, a complex romantic comedy called "Lars and the Real Girl." Lars is an emotionally damaged young man who can not stand to be touched and cannot sustain a relationship with anyone other than a real doll he ordered online. It could have easily turned into a smutty sitcom-like waste of 90 minutes, but thanks to the sure hands of the cast and the director and a great screenplay it became instead a beautiful examination of love and community. There were parts of this film that I know I'll never be able to talk about without tearing up, so you know I stayed and watched the credits. And during those credits I saw something I'd never seen before -- a shout-out to the "honeywagon driver."
The only time I've ever heard the term "honeywagon" it referred to a tanker used to suck up waste matter from porta-potties. A little research online after I got home tells me that a honeywagon can also be a "trailer or truck and trailer combination outfitted for and used as the dressing room for actors when on location". And even though I'd prefer it was the guy vacuuming out the porta-pots getting some recognition, that's probably what was referred to in these movie credits, and that's okay too. At least it's a blue-collar guy.




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4 comments:

Orange said...

We just watched Top Secret! (1984) on DVD. Remember the credits? Boy, they had fun with the credits.

This summer, I watched a 47-minute documentary (in a Google video embedded here) about several men who own Real Dolls. It was fascinating and really quite sad.

Norrin2 said...

I've never seen Top Secret! but judging by the credits -- can you judge a movie by its credits? -- it looks like something I'd like.
That documentary though might make me feel too igry for comfort. As it was some of the humor in "Lars" was the kind that made you laugh and squirm at the same time.

Zan said...

As I've told you before and I'll post here for the interwebs to see. I hate the credits. Where are the credits on your Mustard Seed meal? Does the cook and the bus boy not deserve to get credit? I don't get my name on any credits for the LPD17 ship even though all the work I did for it. They're all vain and I couldn't care less who brought them bagels every morning on the set.

Norrin2 said...

That's not how I look at it. Bus boys and waiters and cooks and people who work on LPD17s (whatever that is) deserve to get credit and recognition for what they do. The fact that most of us don't doesn't mean we should resent it when a few of us do. We should celebrate it.
If I brought bagels to Brad Pitt or drove the honeywagon, wouldn't you stay and see the credits then?