My "Family" Tree in Film

by Bijoux Alexanderplatz
This list is dedicated to my father. One of the most magical things about film is the personal connections we attach to them. I love a variety of films, although ever since joining The Auteurs I’ve realized I still have much to discover. Some films I love because they are beautiful to watch, they are masterful stories, they entertain me; however, some films (while they certainly might do any one of those things) are even more special to me. There are a few films that strongly remind me of the people I love. Below is the list, along with the loved one they remind me of. 01: My dad. This film, and my dad, are the reasons I made this… Read more

This list is dedicated to my father.

One of the most magical things about film is the personal connections we attach to them. I love a variety of films, although ever since joining The Auteurs I’ve realized I still have much to discover. Some films I love because they are beautiful to watch, they are masterful stories, they entertain me; however, some films (while they certainly might do any one of those things) are even more special to me. There are a few films that strongly remind me of the people I love. Below is the list, along with the loved one they remind me of.

01: My dad. This film, and my dad, are the reasons I made this list. My dad died this past November, and his love of classic cinema highly influenced my love for film. He loved the Marx Brothers, and this film was particularly special to him because it reminded him of his father—one of the few memories of him he had. Plus I’ll never hear a honking horn without asking for a hard boiled egg.

Edit: this film is now on Mubi, so it’s at the bottom of the list: Sands of Iwo Jima. My dad loved John Wayne, and my dad’s brother served at Iwo Jima, so this was his favourite John Wayne film.

02: My dad looked like Gandhi. No joke.

03: My mom’s favourite film.

04: My mom still randomly starts singing “I could have danced all night.”

05: My sister’s favourite film. Go ahead, ask her what her favourite type of gum is. Juicy Fruit.
06: My sister. I used to watch this film before bed when I was in grade school. I thought my sister was so cool for letting me stay up and watch with her (there is a sixteen-year age difference between us).

07: Hannah, a friend from my past, but always an important part of who I am. Being a terrific friend, I accompanied her on a date when she was a freshman in high school. She didn’t want to go alone, so she told the guy (super, super nice guy, by the way) that her cousin from California was in town and so I brushed up on my acting skills and tagged along. I got free dinner and a movie, too. We all ended up having a lot of fun, and we watched the re-release of Star Wars. She’d never seen Star Wars. She thought it was weird.

08: Andrew and Michelle. A great couple and great friends!! Andrew was so excited about this film he’d discovered, and couldn’t wait for Michi and I to watch it. We loved it.

09: Jimmy and Caitlin. Some of my best friends. I became friends with both of them in grade school, and remain very close to them. We can recite this film like it’s nobody’s business. We even sign the signed parts.

10: Brittany. Another of my best, closest friends since grade school. I can’t remember us going more than a month in high school without watching this film together. During high school we both claimed we were born in the wrong decade, and so we really thought we related to this film in a big way. It was groovy.

11. My mom and all six of her siblings (even the two boys). My mom was raised in Kentucky. She was the oldest girl, second oldest child, out of seven children. Her daddy was a coal miner. I grew up listening to Loretta Lynn. I feel very connected to this film.

12. My papaw (grandfather). He was the best human I’ve ever known. I often watch Capra’s films and think more people should be like the characters. More people should be like my papaw.

13. Jazzmyne, the German Shepherd. My sister’s dog. She was an integral part of our family in my formative years. I lived in the country, and the houses in our neighborhood were so spread out, often blocked from view by the woods, that I didn’t know other kids lived near me until I started school. My sister’s dog was a constant playmate, and we would watch this film together. Of course, she refrained from crying, but she consoled me while I did.

14. Me. It’s my favourite film. I saw it for the first time when I was in high school. At the time, I liked a lot of movies, old and new, but didn’t really have a true passion for cinema like I now do. What I did love at the time (and still do) were horror movies and literature. I read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre in which he listed the 100 films from 1950-1980 that he thought were the scariest. While looking through the TV Guide I saw that this film, which is on the list, was going to air on a station known for its mostly Christian programming. My dad said he’d watch it with me, and we didn’t know what to make of it. We enjoyed it, but neither of us were quite ready for what we saw. So, even though there are a few other films I love almost as much, I had to pick this one to represent me, because I love remembering the first time I watched the film, and the conversations my dad and I had about it.

My boyfriend: Pumping Iron. I never thought I’d love someone who loved Arnold so much. He has Arnold movies, Arnold books, and for our first Valentine’s Day I had a shirt made for him that was like Arnold’s. Except instead of Arnold’s name it has his :) (p.s. I’m the best girlfriend ever!!)

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