This past Saturday I had the inaugural date of Jai's Southern Film Series. The film of choice was what I think most people would consider the quintessential Southern film, Gone With The Wind. Some people thought it was a bold choice b/c it is so long but I thought it completely appropriate.
The week before the event I had about 8 people lined up but Sat morning I got several emails from people getting sick. I was appalled by the fact that people had the nerve to get sick on the day of my film! So. Tara and I made some food - I was thinking something southern but then I realized that it was almost Mardi Gras week so I decided to do some red beans & rice but I had to do it Turnip Truck style which meant chicken sausage instead of pork - and waited to see who would show. We ended up with two guests. Two Gone With The Wind virgins.
Tara loaded up the movie and we were off.
"Tara, I hate Tara. Why must we do all of this work for Tara?" were some of the first lines we heard. We all got a kick out of that b/c Tara was sitting right there with us.
While we were watching someone would periodically ask about the relationship between characters, there were several relationships alluded to the we were sometimes confused about; some have to do with actors looking similar, some related to dead characters (which we didn't know why they were talking about dead characters but thats what it seemed like). Tara, my Tara, was the go-to because she was the only one who had seen the entire movie and she remembers stuff like that.
Two hours later the movie was over and we were satisfied. We were confused b/c everybody had talked about how long the movie is which we wondered if this was some abbreviated version. I grabbed the case and immediately saw the problem...we started with disk 2. :-O
I put disk 1 and and story points and relationships immediately started to made sense. 1.5 hours later the movie was truly over and we were even more satisfied.
"Gone with the Wind" is a wonderful film; it is beautiful and has an amazing screenplay. It is filled with solid repeating images and themes, lush costumes and sets, and an incredibly snappy dialog. Yes, there are some horribly offensive ideas and dialog about blacks (it was 1939 and a movie about Reconstruction Era Georgia). Yes, there are some arcane notitions about the relationships between men and women. The flipside is you have strong women and realistic anti-war dialog, even some references to Southern's being disallusioned about the Civil War let alone the way they feel about its outcome.
Was my first film showing a success? Yes, in a backwards, low-key kind of way. I saw a cousin I don't see often, we had friends over at the house, we laughed and ate.
Next month's showing has not been decided upon. I will keep you posted.