I fell asleep last night doing my homework - I was watching "To Kill a Mockingbird." I love that movie - it's one of my top three favorites (along with Monty Python's "Search for the Holy Grail" and "Mary Poppins" - what a combo, right?) I only fell asleep because I'm exhausted from trying to get everything done so I can run off to the coast this weekend to relax. Hmmm...
Anyway, back to Mockingbird...I first watched it in third grade when I was a tomboy and had a haircut just like Scout's and a big brother just like Jem, except mine didn't let me tag along like Jem does Scout. I envied her that, as well as her front porch, porch swing, tire swing, and tree house. I loved the idea of a mysterious guardian watching over me, prepared to save my life and leaving me trinkets in the knothole of a tree. In fact, I filled a cigar box with trinkets much like theirs, but who knows where I gathered them up from.
Even when I was little, I loved the messages of nonviolence and tolerance in the movie, that you shouldn't judge someone, that you should try to imagine what it's like walking around in their skin or seeing the world from their front porch. Atticus Finch made a big impression on me. I'm surprised I never wanted to be a lawyer.
I "had" to watch Harrison Ford in "Witness" this weekend, and I "had" to order some other movies from Amazon - required viewing, you see. This screenwriting class doesn't feel like school at all, except for the deadlines. It's just giving me a good excuse to buy and watch movies, research more about my great-great grandfather's life and times, and start fleshing out the memoir he wrote back in 1901 that I want to turn into a screenplay...things I enjoy doing and have been wanting to devote more time to for years, but let that GUILT thing stop me. Now, I have to do it. It's school.
One of the things I've learned from this class is that there exists an elusive movie, apparently made of gold, that I had never heard of before: "Matewan." You won't find it in any ordinary video store - only artsy ones, the kind with weird names that are near college campuses miles from your home. Amazon has it, but for what it costs, you could get ten other movies or a very nice pair of shoes, and the ones for sale on Ebay come from Australia and won't play in a normal USA DVD player. Figures. I'll continue searching for it. Wish me luck. It must be really good!