Early impressions


My life is dotted with many moments when I remember watching a picture at a certain age, at a certain time, and how this picture influencd me, fascinated me, tantalized me.

When it comes to movies, Sometimes I miss the past. I know it’s great to to hear them in Dolby Digital and see those great special effects, but I miss something. We live in a cynical world, and much of the films (and people, and children) have lost their innocence. The internet and DVD special features hoard gigabits of information. If you want, you can now know exactly how’s everything been done. But where’s the magic? It’s hard, because I love to read about movies and watch those special features, but I also don’t want to know EVERYTHING, I want the magic to last, because that’s the first feeling I had when I went to the movies. I felt a sense of wonder. 

They say the most powerful memories are your childhood memories. I don’t know what was the very first picture I saw in the theatre (a little research in that matter didn’t turn much), but I distinctly remember what are probably the first movies I ever saw in a theatre, or ever saw, period.

I was about 5 or 6, it was the late seventies, and it was in movie houses in Tel Aviv that no longer exist in out multiplex era. And I was thrilled, overjoyed, and awe-struck.

So here they are, my earliest impressions of cinema:

The Sleeping Beauty (1959)

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I particularly remember this gem from Walt Disney Studios because of the witch. The witch scared the hell out of me. She turned into a dragon and attacked the fair prince, who in turn, in a spectacular scene, hurled his sword at her chest and slayed her then and there. The animation was gorgeous, the music great. This is probably not only one of the first movies I’ve ever seen, but the first animated one as well.

The Big Store (1941)                    

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The Marx Brothers were at the end of their run by the 1940’s. In 1941 came out one of their lesser pictures, The Big store. Like most later movies they did for MGM, it lacked the anarchy, zaniness and mayhem which marked their early features for Paramount, but it nevertheless has a warm place in my heart. Definitley the first Marx Brothers movie I’ve ever seen, it told of the brothers doing some shenanigans in a big department store, with a thin plot about killers and singers. But the most memorable sequence for me, and probably my No. 1 Movie Childhood Memory, was the great chase in the store which involved roller scates among many other paraphernalia.

 The Muppet Movie (1979)

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The only movie I saw in real time (the others were holiday screenings or something). First of all, I can’t for the love of me understand why Jim Henson died so young. This is such a crime. The man was a genious, he brought so much joy and laughter to people everywhere. I miss him. This was the first of a series, and told basically about the gang going to Hollywood. I especially remember some shenanigans with an airbaloon, but the thing most people remember from this movie is the great opening song, The Rainbow Connection, which was nominated for an Academy Award that same year.

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