Of course, I can only see with limited vision, a view that is wholly my own, but I tend to see things my boy, I do, I do. So I'd like to share them with you.
I remember watching Pete's Dragon, when I was just a wee fellow. You haven't seen it, yet, but you will. And one day you'll sing that song about a candle on the water, just like your daddo did. You might even run around town with a pet dragon named Eliot. I wouldn't put it past you. You have imagination in your blood. And we Wiederspahn boys tend to run with dragons, anyhow.
Then there will be the classic moment, It's a Wonderful Life. What a great, great movie. You'll definitely see it. Probably, at least 18 times. Every Christmas. I'll insist upon it. And even if you don't care for it as much as I do, you'll lie to me and tell me you do because it means that much to your crazy father and his idyllic dreams. You'll come to realize that the film is full of valuable lessons I hope to teach you. You'll watch me cry every time we see Clarence's words "No man is a failure who has friends." Yep, for that reason alone you'll more than likely love the film. That, and, of course, the part where Jimmy Stewart's going to lasso the moon for his girl. You've got romance in your genes (jeans), son. Just keep 'em zipped.
Dead Poet's Society. Remembering my teens, I'll drag you with me. Who knows, you might just start one. Might be a poet yourself. I've always fancied myself a poet, of sorts. You might "Carpe Diem" the socks off the world. No. Wait. What am I saying? There's no might with us. Will. Definitely will. You'll "Carpe Diem" from sea to shining sea. That's just how we do it. We find a way. Then we'll laugh together, son, as one rainy day, stuck inside, after watching the flick, we stand up on chairs and shout at the ceiling "Oh captain, my captain." Your mom will smile at us yahoo's. And you'll say, "Dad, do you really like this movie, I thought you were into art films?" And I'll say, "No, artistically speaking, its not great. But I sure liked the way it made me feel when I was a kid." And you'll smile at me, because you'll know I know what you're feeling at that moment. And we'll continue to laugh and shout and laugh and shout. Make your life extraordinary, my boy
Yes, the year's will pass with many an interesting viewing experience. Because, I love films. Its what I do. And I'll make you watch them with me. I'll attempt to turn you into a film snob. We'll discuss the lessons of these films - many lessons you will learn. We'll watch the nostalgic films of my youth: the one about Pete and his Dragon, the great Jimmy Stewart one, Robin Williams reading poetry, and of course others like, The Karate Kid, The Breakfast Club, Hoosiers, Singing in the Rain, Say Anything, etc. But then, we'll move into deeper discussions about Chaplin and Welles. Ernst Lubitsch. The genius of Preston Sturges. The westerns of John Ford. Which, we'll only watch while wearing boots. In fact, there might even be a moment in your life when you'll think your father is just like John Wayne. Its the way of fathers and sons, you know?
After a time, we'll start venturing outside the four walls of our country, expanding our view. We'll take a look at the world. We'll watch the British comedy crime caper, The Lavendar Hill Mob. We'll go to Japan and spend some time with Kurosawa and Ozu. Denmark will keep us up many nights as we ponder the realized mysticism of Carl Dreyer. We'll talk about how self-conscious the French New Wave was. Bresson will capture our hearts and minds forever. You'll wonder why your father weeps when Bathasar the donkey dies in a field, surrounded by sheep. We'll study the social conscience of neo-realism, we'll go to Iran with Kiarostami, we will torture our psyche with the films of the great Swede, Ingmar Bergman. You'll make me dress up like Death when we play chess, just to see if you can beat me. I'll teach you the ten commandments while watching Kieslowski's Decalogue. Obey your father and mother my boy, and your days shall be long.
Then it'll happen. One fine weekend, when your mother and sibling's have cleared the house, leaving you and I alone, we will watch a film called Andrei Rublev. My holy grail of cinema. And trust me on this one, my boy, it will not be fun. You'll be intrigued by its scope, perplexed, even a bit admiring, but ultimately, you will not like it. It will be the cinematic equivalent of a root canal. And that's okay. You will struggle for most of every three hour and twenty minute moment the film plays. You'll wonder what the opening hot air balloon sequence has to do with anything. You'll think to yourself, "Alright already, I get the point", even though you don't. You will find it long and boring and tedious, and you will wonder what on earth I have been smoking. You'll wonder how to break your dislike to me. For a moment, you'll even get insecure, perhaps feeling like maybe you aren't very smart, that maybe it is great and you don't know it. So, you'll pretend you get it. In fact, you'll attempt to use words in a sentence I've never heard you use before. And then finally, you'll get frustrated, angry, and just plain over it. Until at last, amidst my overwhelming enthusiasm and wild gesticulation for what a superior film this is, you will shout, "I just didn't like it, okay. Is it okay, that I don't like it."
Like a brick through a window, abruptly, all will become silent.
But then, after this awkward and uncomfortable bubble, without being harsh or critical of your superficial assessment of the film - after all, I and many others have been there ourselves, in a moment where you will truly come to know your father, I will simply smile and say, "of course its okay that you don't like it...Tomorrow, we'll watch it again."