December 9, 2008

"Tell me, why are you so good to me?"

This past Thursday, a movie night was held that holds a special sort of significance for me. Why? Because it was the first time we've held a movie night where more than just regular G.H.I.D.R.A.H. members attended. This isn't actually entirely true as there have been two other instances where this has happened. However, the first time it occurred was when DanteCWB's brother happened to join us because he was oh-so-conveniantly living in the house at time, and the second time was when I did some hard twisting of my neighbor's arm in order to get him to join us for two of the films we were showing that night. Given the circumstances, I don't think either of those instances really count. In this case we had three new faces show up entirely of their own accord, a pleasant surprise for Josh and I both, the only two regulars present.

The movie was Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), the classic thriller starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. If you aren't at least familiar with this film then you should be ashamed of yourself. Very ashamed indeed. If you are familiar with it then good for you but why have you not seen it yet? Both of you, get on that now!

A single frame will never, ever do the hilarity of this sequence justice.

The plot concerns one Roger Thornhill, a Madison Avenue advertising executive who looks strangely similar to Cary Grant. Through an unfortunate case of mistaken identity, our friend Thornhill accidentally gets swept up in an international espionage plot that sees him trekking West across the United States while trying to both clear his name and avoid getting himself killed. Along the way he also becomes romantically entangled with a Miss Eve Kendall, played by the lovely Eva Marie Saint.

And that's all I'm going to tell you.


No, seriously! If you've already seen the film then you already know the plot and if you haven't seen it then I'd hate to spoil a movie with so many excellent twists and turns. It's rare these days that I watch a movie almost totally unspoiled and the experience was absolutely wonderful. Come to think of it, I was the only person in the room who'd ever seen the whole movie all the way through but it was so, so long ago that my mind could only remember tiny fragments of scenes - essentially I was watching it for the first time. Again. Josh realized early into the film that he'd caught a bit of the beginning on TV once but had never seen the whole thing himself. Otherwise the group was made up of North by Northwest virgins.

"Shall I climb up and tell you why?"

What better way to experience a movie like this than with a bunch of movie-loving people who have either never seen it or can't remember it? Did I mention I run these things on a ten-foot projector screen in our den? It most certainly beats watching movies alone in my room on my little 12-inch Powerbook G4, which is what I mostly did up until September. I love the little thing to death but she's just not cut out for the movie-watching experience.


So take that big screen and project an absolutely fantastic movie onto it - you've got a great night ahead of you. I cannot say enough how great it was to watch this with such a good audience. The uproarious drunk driving sequence had everyone in fits of laughter, the crop duster scene thrilled us as we watched Thornhill narrowly avoid death time and time again, and during the climactic scene atop Mount Rushmore the tension in the room was almost palpable. All of it was expertly paced and tied together with a rousing score by Bernard Herrmann (if it doesn't get your blood pumping then you are clearly not human). It's an experience that watching a movie like this alone is never going to give you.

Oh, she's totally not doing that in heels. --is she?

Actually, if I enjoy North by Northwest a second time around as much as I did this past Thursday then I will proudly state how easily it made it into my top twenty films of all time. It's that good. I'd say everyone else agreed, too, a couple of people saying how surprised they were by just how much they enjoyed the movie. One of our guests told me earlier this evening how she'd liked it so much that she got an .MP4 copy to watch on her Zune whenever she felt like.

Now if you decided to be lazy skip all of that then I'll summarize it all nice and succinct here for you:

North by Northwest is excellent. Watch it with friends.

Finally, here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Thanks to everyone who made this night so great. I truly hope you all join us for many more movie nights to come.

Hope everyone is enjoying the articles!

-DaiKamonohashi (is not about to get himself slightly killed!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a great article! Except that I still maintain that I did not slightly kill you. Nevertheless North by Northwest is my new favorite movie.