Monday, April 18, 2011

Last of the Mohicans

While I was at my parents house this evening I stumbled upon my Dad's movie collection. I say my dad's because while my mother loves movies, she rarely sits through one. My dad was different though. He loved movies. Mostly it was standard movie going public films, read: No artsy fartsy indie films for him. He always told me "While movies can educate, they need to entertain".

One of his favorites was Last of the Mohicans. For years he would tell me that I would love this movie. I don't really recall now why I didn't want to watch it but I refused. A movie about a war between the English and French in the colonies? I didn't get it. He told me that there was a love story and I shrugged my teenage shoulders at it. Sounded like a old person's movie.

It wasn't until years later that my best friend Amy told me pretty much the same things my dad did. Again I balked but best friends have a way of saying, you're doing something whether you want to or not. Damn peer pressure. :)

I have to say they we're both right. I watched the movie and immediately fell in love with both Daniel Day Lewis' Hawkeye and  Eric Schweig's Uncas. They were different types of heroes cast from the tall, dark and handsome mode. Both were brave and trustworthy, deserving of the swoons of Cora and Alice (not to mention me). Yet Hawkeye had a world weariness that Uncas, at his young age, had not developed. Had the situation been reversed Hawkeye would have went up the mountside to save Cora but he he would have thought about it instead of relying on pure emotion. During those scenes this is demonstrated by the way Hawkeye attacks the enemy. It is clear he is two thoughts ahead at all times. Uncas' reacted the way our hearts want our hero. He went after Alice without thought. He went after her without care. He went after her because she needed him.

In such uncertain times and dubious real life "heroes" I wouldn't mind a Hawkeye or Uncas in my life...just saying...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gone With the Wind

I was introduced to "romance" novels when I was about seven or eight years old. My mother was cleaning house one night and I remember that I was bothering her with "Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Momma, Momma" every five seconds. as parents often do she took me to the babysitter (the T.V.). She turned the television on and told me to watch this old movie that was on. She said she said "You'll like it" and then went back to her cleaning. She was wrong about that movie. I didn't like it. I loved it.

The movie was Gone with the Wind starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. From the opening credits I was completely hooked. History has always been a passion of mine and put together with a love have me @ Rhett Butler. I watched that movie and gushed about it for days. My mom would just smile that "I told you so" smile.

The next summer my father took me and my little sister to the DMV at the local Government Center. While waiting as patiently as an eight and five year old can, my sister and I discovered that there was a library in the same building. We asked (read: begged) my dad to take us there. Surprisingly he agreed and off I went to heaven, a world full of books. I remembered that my mom had told me that Gone with the Wind was a book so I very grown up like asked the librarian for the book. I don't remember the look that she gave me but I can imagine but she got it for me. A thousand page book would stun most adults, me you ask? I was thrilled.

I did have one last hurtle to jump. When I asked my dad to check this book out for me he wasn't sure. He told me several times that I wouldn't understand all of it and that it was a thousand pages. I didn't care and evidently he did check it out for me. Again and Again. It took me the whole summer to read the book. I feel as it was fate. That was the only summer that we ever went to the library. I wouldn't go again until I was an adult.

Almost every year since then I read Gone With the Wind. It is my favorite book of all time. And my dad was right I didn't understand that book the first time I read it or even the second. In fact it took years for me to understand its social impact. What I did understand at eight and even more so now was the love story at the heart of it.