In 1945 I saw my first movie with my grandmother — Anchors Aweigh. All I remember was a man dancing with a sad mouse. When I was eight I was allowed to see Strangers on a Train, and while I did not understand all of it, I did sense enough to convince me that movies would never be the same for me. Since I had a job at a supermarket hauling customers’ groceries home, I could not see the normal kids fare on Saturday. However, half of the money I made allowed my to see the Sunday and the Wednesday features each week. So I saw movies such as Singin’ in the Rain — a movie that made me happy; Rear Window — during which I bit off the top of an umbrella when Grace Kelly went to Thorwald’s apartment; Cinderella — a movie that turned me into a rabid anti-Disney fanatic; Vertigo — even now my old friends mock my movie suggestions reminding me that I excitedly recommended a movie that they thought was very, very boring.
I saw these movies based on watching the coming attractions from the week before. I was unaware of reviews or books on the subject, but I did see ads in the local newspaper and posters in front of the theater. Sitting in the theater in the dark, I felt a strong emotional attachment to the images I experienced on the screen. I rarely experienced nothing from a movie — well, all right maybe nothing from Rhubarb (1951)! Although I have now read numerous reviews, books, and discussions on The Auteurs, I continue to sit by myself, although now in a darkened living room in front of a TV screen, and personally become emotionally attached to the images on the screen. As Alan Moore indicates I need to experience an emotional resonance — “it is important that a story (film) ring true upon a human level even if it never happened.” The Auteurs helps me understand the mechanics that make this unique enjoyment possible.