Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksf'ing #2: Five Movies for Which Mike is Thankful

It's November, and that can mean only one thing at F This Movie! -- it's time to celebrate the holiday of Thanksf'ing. Throughout the month, all of the F This Movie! crew will be sharing the movies for which they are thankful. Because the Mayflower.

Today's installment comes courtesy of Mike Pomaro:

1. Goodfellas (1990) - No movie means more to me then Goodfellas. Seeing it for the first time was literally a life-changing experience. For the first 13 years of my life, I watched a lot of movies. It was a wonderful hobby. But when my parents rented Goodfellas in 1991 (yes, I know, I was way too young to watch Goodfellas), it shook my world. It was the first time I noticed things like camera movement, music, editing, lighting – all the things a director uses to tell his or her story. As soon as Goodfellas ended, I knew I was changed: I went from being a kid that watched whatever was on at the time, or whatever his parents dragged him to, to someone that sought movies and directors and writers out. Goodfellas is the reason I went to film school. Goodfellas is the reason I stayed up late at night editing short films on 16mm. Goodfellas is the reason I’ve seen the films of Kurosawa and Fellini and Powell and Kubrick. Goodfellas broke a seal in my life, and it's never been the same.

2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Like many nerds, the original Star Wars trilogy means the world to me. The Empire Strikes Back was my favorite as kid and remains so today. I’m thankful for Star Wars for a number of reasons, the biggest being that it's a common thread in many of my relationships. My friends and I have bonded over the franchise from the first time we met. Some of the fondest memories I have (remember, I’m a huge nerd) are Star Wars related. Like waiting outside of a local Toys “R” Us for seven hours in anticipation of the Episode I figures being released at midnight. Or watching my friend Charlie win Star Wars Trivial Pursuit in one turn. ONE TURN. Or hearing my beautiful wife quote the movies and watching her excitedly purchase her own Yoda backpack. We don’t all agree on politics or religion or countless other issues, but the one common ground we all share is Star Wars.

3. Swingers (1996) - My old girlfriend broke my heart at the end of 1997. Ripped it out, stomped on it, pissed on it, then stomped on it a little more. A week or two after she ate my soul, I found myself in an uncomfortable position: It was a Friday night and my friends all had plans that didn’t involve me. I decided to drown my sorrows in cinema, in the hopes that I would stop crying long enough to actually watch a movie through my foggy, tear-filled glasses. Swingers was about to start. I hadn’t seen it, and thought I could coast through a pointless movie without having to exercise any part of my brain. What I got was the perfect movie at the right time in my life. It’s a simple story of boy loses girl, whines about it for 2 hours, before finding out that his life will go on and there are other fish in the sea. As corny as it sounds, it restored some hope in me, if only for that night, and it stands alone as a shining example for me that sometimes movies are the best medicine.

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - This is easily the worst movie on the list, but I’m extremely grateful it entered my life. I was 10 or 11 years old at the time. My sister had rented it one Friday night with her boyfriend. The next night I had a few friends over for a sleepover. When my family went to bed, we threw in Nightmare 3 (thank you, sis, for forgetting to return it!) and my love of horror films was born. From that point on, I tried my hardest to watch any horror when and where I could. I’d beg my sister to rent them, especially the Freddy movies, and “forget” to return them. This way I could watch them without my mom or dad finding out. They weren’t fans. And don’t think I forgot about you “accidentally” throwing out my copies of Fangoria, mom. Not cool.

5. Private Parts (1997) In 1996 and 1997, I was listening to a local Chicago DJ named Mancow. I thought he was the funniest/craziest thing I’d heard. I wasn’t a smart kid. Then, in my freshman year of college, my friend Adam (another Mancow disciple) and I rented Private Parts. We didn’t like Howard Stern at the time (mainly because Mancow told us not to), but we’d heard the movie was pretty good and gave it a shot. Thank God we did. We found in Howard Stern, through Private Parts, what we thought we had found in Mancow: Stern was, and is, a brilliant satirist, amazing interviewer and the ultimate entertainer. I’m proud to say that I started listening to Stern right after seeing Private Parts and I haven’t looked back. He and his show have been a big and important part of my life for over ten years, and I owe it all to Private Parts.

Got a movie or movies you're thankful for? Email us at fthismoviepodcast(at)gmail.com and share. We'll be reading submissions on the podcast all month long. Happy Thanksf'ing!