Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Conversations With My Mom: The Red Circle



Mom: Do you remember when you were a little boy, your dad's best friend owned a movie theater, and we lived next door to it?
Me: Do I ever.
Mom: The ushers were instructed to let you in for free whenever you came by.
Me: Those were the days.
Mom: I don't think you even liked movies until that point.
Me: Really?
Mom: Yeah, the theater — it was called the Globe — played mostly old Tamil and Hindi movies, and once in a while they'd show a classic foreign movie or some kung-fu film. Soon, you were slipping off and going to the movies several times a week. Unbeknownst to us, of course.
Me: Do you remember some of the movies?
Mom: Well, there was the time — you'll get a kick out of this — you saw two shows daily of this one movie, all week long. You must've seen the movie ten times. And then, we found out — to our horror — that it was a blue movie!
Me: Hmm.
Mom: We had to spank you, of course.
Me: Of course.
Mom: And I remember the first foreign film you ever saw. It was a little gangster movie from France called Le Cercle Rouge.
Me: I fell in love with that thing. I think I even drew a little comic book about it.
Mom: The local newspaper didn't print film reviews in those days, it was all word of mouth. We didn't know anyone who had seen the film but we read your comic book one evening, and the movie sounded like it might be fun, so your dad and I went to see it.
Me: Did you like it?
Mom: It was beautiful. It had almost no dialogue, it wasn't like your usual gangster movie at all, it was really quiet, and because there was so little dialogue you got all hypnotized by the pictures, by the visuals...[dreamy pause]...I haven't seen it since then, have you?
Me: [thinking fast] No, I haven't.
Mom: Is it on video or DVD?
Me: Nope. [bare-faced lie]
Mom: Let me know if it ever comes out on DVD, okay?
Me: I will, but I wouldn't hold my breath. You know, there are many many great movies that will probably never make it to DVD...
Mom: What a shame...[sighs, then heads for the kitchen to feed the dog]
[I watch her until she turns the corner, then I step over to the computer and fire up Amazon. It's been two weeks of hell looking for the right birthday present for my mom, and would you believe it, this one fell right into my lap].

12 Comments:

Blogger Ed Garrity said...

Aha!! Girish is the the grown-up little boy from "Cinema Paradiso." It seems like all the great, great whatever people all started out with an early, early, basic love of whatever they are now great at! Example: Tiger Woods is a golfing phenom and he started at about .... oh, birth, with a golf club in his hand.

And: I agree with whomever stated it before, but, "the conversations with Mom" series are terrific. Are you going to show these to Mom later? Or perhaps when the book comes out? :-)

August 23, 2005 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Filmbrain said...

Don't torture us man! What was the blue movie?

August 23, 2005 10:44 AM  
Blogger girish said...

It was [ahem] Emmanuelle.
Tame by Western standards, I know, but it sure created a mad furor in India, at least at the time...

August 23, 2005 10:57 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Ed--Mom bemusedly reads my blog every now and then.

August 23, 2005 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Darren said...

I'm sure I watched Emmanuelle ten times when I was that age, too. Ah, the memories I have of free Cinemax weekends. ;)

August 23, 2005 1:22 PM  
Anonymous dvd said...

You know what would be really wonderful? If you could find that comic book and post it online....

August 23, 2005 5:50 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Cool idea, David. I never thought of that.
It'd have to be back home in India. I'll have to put my family to the task of recovering it for me.

August 23, 2005 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Darren said...

By the way, Girish. That revolver is probably my favorite of all the illustrations you've posted.

August 23, 2005 7:38 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Gee thanks, Darren.
It's the only one where I took into account some hypothetical light source on the object, that's for sure. :-)
Most of the time, I'm drawn to doing flat, 2-D semi-abstract shapes. Like kids do. :-)

August 23, 2005 8:26 PM  
Blogger Tuwa said...

That's a great story, and it sounds like a great present.

August 25, 2005 1:23 AM  
Blogger Campaspe said...

That is so cute! Your mom has uncommonly good taste in movies. My sister and I got my mother a DVD player and I think I started her collection with All About Eve, Lawrence of Arabia and North by Northwest. We figured we had just made Christmas shopping easier for about the next decade or so.

August 25, 2005 10:40 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Smart move, Campaspe.
My mom actually wrinkled her nose when I handed her a VHS tape last week. (Harold Lloyd's Safety Last, inexplicably not on DVD).

August 26, 2005 8:25 AM  

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