April 18, 2015
The Film Forum in NYC is having a Preston Sturges festival at the moment, so me and Nicole made a trip into the city to see Sullivan's Travels on the big screen! We were originally planning on seeing Christmas in July, Easy Living and Remember the Night as well but some scheduling conflicts arose and we had to narrow it down to one movie. It ended up being a blessing in disguise though because after we shifted our schedules around we ended up being in the right place at the right time -- we ran into Jane Krakowski in a little stationery shop while we were in New York! Me and Nicole are both big fans of 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so we were pretty excited! I'm sure I seemed crazy, raving about 30 Rock as if my life revolved around it (it does) but I feel like it's such a rare privilege to be able to tell someone you admire how much you love their work.
But, enough gushing about modern tv -- this is a classic movie blog, after all ;)
Sullivan's Travels is one of my all time favorite movies. I tend to use the phrase "favorite movie" liberally, but in this case it really is in my top 5, and it has been since I blogged about it way back when I first started Silents and Talkies in 2009. It was one of those rare posts where I actually wrote about the meaning behind the movie and its place in cinema history rather than just going on and on about how much I love it. Honestly everything I would want to say about the movie was already said in that post, so if you want you can check it out here.
The movie-going experience itself was absolutely perfect. The audience responded in the correct ways (laughing at funny scenes, dead silence during the sad scenes) which (as I've blogged about numerous times before) can sometimes be a problem at The Film Forum. It seems to me like the audiences have behaved better during afternoon or morning screenings, so I'm going to try to schedule my visits accordingly from now on and see if that helps.
I'm not sure what it is about seeing movies in theaters, but emotionally I seem to respond more than I would if I was watching at home. Sullivan's Travels is technically a comedy, but its depiction of human suffering is as heartbreaking as any of the dramas from the same era. While it has always moved me during the countless times I popped in the dvd at home, this time I was fighting back tears. By the same token, I think I laughed harder at the humorous scenes and I even appreciated Veronica Lake's performance more than I ever have before. There's something about her delivery, especially in her first scene in the film, that is just so perfect I can't even describe it.
Basically, I just felt an overwhelming sense of appreciation for the movie, an actual desire to give the movie a big hug and say "Thank you, Thank you!" I almost wish I could run into the movie in a little stationery shop and pour my heart out to the movie, tell it how much I loved it and how important it was to me.