Things got weird this weekend...really, really weird. I never used to think seeing gross, disgusting or horrid images in any movie were that big of a deal. I love horror movies, and appreciate being taken away to a make believe land in a Hollywood flick. Until this weekend, one of the most disturbing movie images I have ever endured was Kathy Bates's performance in Misery. That one f!cked me up for a while. What bothered me most about it was that the circumstances were not so completely outrageous. The story didn't revolve around an axe-wielding lunatic or using common plot devices like teenagers running into the woods, together, only to split up because they think they will be safer that way.
Another image that haunted me for a long time was the end of The Blair Witch Project. I'm not real proud to admit that one, but it's true. There was something not right about the guy standing in the corner in the basement of that house. I just didn't like it.
However, the grand daddy of images I cared not for when I first saw them was from Saving Private Ryan. Those first 20 minutes...man, are you kidding me? However, that's not what troubled me. It was the scene where Pvt. Mellish is stabbed through the heart after his struggle with a German soldier. While the knife was going into his heart, the German was telling him to "shhh," all the while his compatriot Upham was standing outside the door, frozen with fear. Ugh, I hated that scene.
No, this weekend saw the introduction of some new scenes to my list of those that should not be named. I don't know why this weekend had two such introductions, given my general proclivity for watching films, and the rarity with which I am bothered. Entry number one came during a surprise screening of Trainspotting. It's one of those movies that I had always wanted to see, and just never got around to it. The wife and I were watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, but somehow we both decided that Trainspotting would be a better bet. That lasted about 30 or so minutes. 6 months ago, I would have finished watching it. Friday night saw that one come to an abrupt end at the scene with the dead baby in the crib. I can honestly say, hands down, that is the most fucked up image I have ever seen in a movie. And I have seen some doozies. Both my wife and I had an immediate and very visceral reaction to the image, and it was not a positive one. I am sure I could insert some platitude about how becoming a father has changed me in some way, and I am sure that it has. I won't bore you with that. I just couldn't look at the dead baby.
Not to be outdone, Saturday had its own offering. I decided for a light hearted affair, on the advice of my best friend. Of course, he swears by Anchorman, so he's already suspect. His review of March of the Penguins made me finally watch the much hyped fare. An interesting movie, for sure, but the back drop of the movie is just how hard it is to give birth to a baby penguin. Emperor penguins, for those of you not in the know, basically are the heartiest beasts on the planet. I mean, to march 70 miles inland to find your partner for the season, copulate and then mind the egg throughout the winter until it hatches is pretty hard core. The penguins, however, decide to kick it up a notch by a) not eating from the time they begin this march until after the chick is born (the males anyway), and b) basically cradling the egg on top of their feet to keep it off the ice furing the harsh Antarctic winter, where the average temparture is 58 below...for 9 weeks. Say that again with me...9 weeks. My man hasn't eaten is a few months, has in fact lost 1/3 to 1/2 of his body weight, and must now trek back out to sea to eat...another 70+ mile journey...in the dead of winter. Male penguins are vastly outnumbered in the population by females specifically because they endure so much just to bring a baby into the world. The tough part about the movie was a scene where they showed an over eager couple that botched the egg hand off and the egg cracked on the ice. The movie showed a time lapse shot of the egg basically cracking further due to cold and freezing over. Then there were all the dead chicks...and the one that was eaten. So much for a light hearted affair.
I wonder how long this new found sensitivity to all things baby and danger related will last. Anyone have any good movie recommendations?