Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Memory Lane Is Black And White

I watched a large amount of old movies as a kid-- I suspect I was the only patron of any age regularly browsing the classics section at our corner video store. I shuttled a parade of VHS tapes in faded covers up and down the half block to my house until I knew that stretch of pavement better than any other.

I once had a nightmare that the horsemen of the apocalypse were riding down Tenth Avenue intent on finding me. I hid in the video store and vividly remember the wraiths walking past me as I repeated my mantra that Vince (his blue Camaro parked out front) and Marianne (with her Vizsla, Red) would somehow protect me. Those two taught me my first lessons about creating community. Together, they transformed 400 square feet of dusty shelves and worn carpet into the hub and heart of our neighborhood.

They gave me space to discover the films that cast a spell over my imagination as a kid-- the films that still inform the topography of my taste:

Top Hat

A Philadelphia Story


Twelve Angry Men

The Thin Man

Arsenic and Old Lace

Pride and Prejudice

It's a Wonderful Life


Witness for the Prosecution

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