At the Movies. With your host, Suzie Q

Sunday 6 April 2008

There's something about watching a movie in front of a cinema-sized screen, in a darkened room with my fellow people, that just fills my creative well. It makes me feel like I'm in some kinda giant womb, there in the dark, with nothing to do but be told a big stowy and suck my thumb ... or eat popcorn and a strawberry choc-top. I love the movies. And it's been too long.

There is something about that experience that just wells me up, you know? It feels childlike and magical for me and the creative cogs start turning, and I start getting story ideas. But of course, I have to let them all fly away, which is a luxury all it's own, 'cause I'm in the middle of a stowy and this is all about being fed.

Ahhhhh :)

I especially love it when it's a good Australian movie, which it was tonight: The Black Balloon. A coming-of-age story told from the point of view of Thomas, who is 15 going on 16 and has just met the adorable Jackie at the new school he's started attending after his soldier father is stationed in a new barracks. Thomas has an autistic brother Charlie, and the main thrust of the story is about Thomas coming to terms with the facts of his situation while trying to work his way through that horrid, shitty age where your peers opinions are everything and they're often mean.. The scenes of Thomas in Phys Ed swimming classes brought back to me all the claustrophobia of my own high school experiences, about how much of teenagerhood is just pure embarrassment and shame. YUK! And the burgeoning romance between Thomas and Jackie was so sweet it literally brought tears to my eyes. The movie, in that quintessential Aussie way, highlights the darkness and light of life, full of quirk and a bit of whimsy and twice I thought I was going to burst into tears. It was lovely.

Luke Ford is quite amazing in his performance as the autistic Charlie. Toni Collette is a maestro. Nice to see Eric Thomson on the big screen. No passengers in this movie; accomplished performances all. Great debut from first-time director Elissa Down.

Not the way you wanna get to school when you're 15. Catching a ride on Charlie's special school bus :)


  1. I was going to ask if Toni Collette was in it...

    I'll have to look into whether or not it will turn up in the states. A couple of my favorite flicks are Aussie.

  2. What flicks may they be, dude?

  3. Haven't been an actual movie theater for maybe 6 years. Spouse hates movies and I'm not crazy about going alone, ALTHOUGH if there was something I was just dying to see, I would definitely go along.

    So, thinking I was maybe missing some of life's big offerings, I became a Netflick chick and have watching 7 movies in the last 6 weeks. I'm really surprised at myself because I usually think I should be doing something "useful" or productive so to take time for a movie is a real treat. I could have lived without the movies but they were fun and I plan to continue this new found game when the feeling for a good laugh or cry comes main reactions to movies.

  4. Hey, SS. Yes, ye olde Protestant work ethic that says anything vaguely fun must be not useful :) I know that voice - and I don't believe it :)

    Excellent newfound game :)

  5. Well, we don't get tons of Aussie stuff up here, but some I have loved:

    Danny Deckchair
    Japanese Story
    Muriel's Wedding
    Shine (my baby bro can play Rachmaninoff!)

    But NOTHING will ever hold a candle to The Man from Snowy River.


  6. Awwww, yay! I LOVED that movie so very much when it came out. Spoke to the freedom loving part of me. I was about 10 or 11 when that first was released. Ahh, Tom Burlinson :) Wasn't he just so cute!!!!

    I might give it a whirl again one day. I haven't seen it for decades.

  7. Now I have that theme song in my head. It was beautiful.

    And yes, he was beautiful, too ;-) I waaayy over-romanticized that movie. You and I were 11; It was released March(Au) and November(US), 1982. (Courtesy IMDB)

    It's on cable every so often here. I tried to get my boys to watch it once; they weren't impressed. I guess romance is over their heads.

  8. Oh, yes, I remember that music now! Cool!!! :)

    I found the horses all romantic too (don't many girls at that age have a thing about horses? I never did to the extent that I had one - it felt beyond my reach - but my cousins did, and they lived in the country, and got to do cool stuff :)

    No, I guess it wouldn't be very appealing to boys hehe :)


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