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Your Essential Film Viewings for Fall Season

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We're now fully into the fall season. Around here, the weather is getting substantially colder, the leaves have all dropped and the grass (finally) stopped growing. There's a wonderful cool breeze in the air and the sun is just right. Along with the perfect weather are the wonderful comfort foods associated with these closing months of the year and, most important of all, the best films usually hit cinemas from here on out. 

 

This might be an unusual topic... but please bear with me.

 

With this climate, what films do you associate with it and find yourself watching? For whatever reason. Family traditions, films you discovered on a whim that became favorites, holiday essentials, etc. Share your stories! Here are a few of mine.

 

Excalibur - Anytime someone asks for a Top 5 or 10 list of your all-time favorite films, John Boorman's masterwork of the Arthurian lore is always one of the first of three go-to choices (along with Dawn of the Dead and The Wizard of Oz). 

 

I grew up aware of the legends from Disney's The Sword in the Stone and reading about it in school. But it wasn't until Excalibur that it registered. This was circa November 2001. I had my first car (my grandfather's old Chevy pick-up) and with school out for Thanksgiving, I had free reign to do whatever for that coming week. And being that I roamed the local Blockbuster religiously, that was the first place I went to after the school-bell rang that Friday afternoon.

 

Rented a load of stuff to tide me over for the week (in between the incoming turkey & dressing and hanging out with relatives) and as I was looking through the aisles, I found this VHS cover. In retrospect, it's a God-awful Photoshop job that doesn't do the film justice nor is it the mesmerizing theatrical artwork. But something about it just... spoke to me, so it joined the pile (which included Once Upon a Time in America, a couple of James Bond entries and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master). Needless to say, my mind was blown and I watched it several times that week. I've eternally associated Excalibur with November/December and its been my annual tradition viewing it then ever since.

 

Planes, Trains & Automobiles - A perfect comedy if there ever was one. For years, we had this on VHS taped off a USA Network broadcast from 1996 (I remember thanks to the commercials also captured from said broadcast). Every year, we'd pop in the tried-and-true tape and laugh like it was the first time. No idea where it is now - would love to find it. A few years back, I was alone for the Holidays and the VHS was nowhere to be seen. Thank God the night before Thanksgiving, WGN happened to be playing it. Still works and I will, most definitely, be showing this to my lovely love wife as the time approaches.

 

My old man and I even lived through a "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!" situation. After leaving a church meeting during the holiday seasons (circa... November 2003), an older gentleman and his wife drove ahead of us... and went directly into the wrong lane. Thankfully nobody was out and my dad and I raced to stop him. After we got them turned around and we both avoided heart-attacks, I looked over at him and said the exact exchange from Hughes' comedic masterpiece.

 

Neal: He says we're going the wrong way.

Del: Oh he's drunk! How would he know where we're going?

Neal: *Pauses* Yeaaaah! How would he know?!

 

My dad practically screamed in laughter. 

 

The Godfather - Part II is certainly optional (also a perfect film), Part III is an out-of-the-question HELL NO! but The Godfather is another tradition for my dad and I... and Mom too, when/if she felt like it. Sit down, watch and lovingly imitate lines ("Be my friend... *Lowers head* Godfather...?") AMC used to play the trilogy during Christmas. Not sure if they do anymore (We don't have cable or satellite TV) and we own the DVD box-set. But it's just the fun of experiencing a masterpiece in cinema that we can all relate to. 


Edited by FilmNerdJamie - 10/30/17 at 6:27pm
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