The Essay Question (Nov. 26, 2015)

Every couple of weeks, the OFCS polls its members with a question related to movies. It can be serious or amusing, but each member is given the opportunity to submit a short response to the question, which we will then post on Thursday mornings. Here is this week’s query.

Essay Question #25:

With U.S. Thanksgiving around the corner, which film, actor, director, or anything else film-related are you most thankful for?

Question Submitted by: Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight


Beth Accomando @ KPBS Cinema Junkie
Picking just one person or film to be thankful for is difficult but I am eternally grateful to my father for instilling a love of movies in me and introducing me to King Kong (1933) and the Marx Brothers at an early age. King Kong made the fantastical real and created a beast more sympathetic than most humans while the Marx Brothers celebrated a kind of anarchy that makes them forever timeless.

I am also thankful to performers like Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn who showed us how fun and challenging a relationship between equals could be. I also also grateful to all the technicians, crew, and effects people who make fantasies become real every day.

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
For film, I am forever thankful for Casablanca, a film I never tire of. I admit three things with Casablanca: I can never just ‘watch a few minutes’ of it, Claude Rains is my all-time favorite actor, and yes, I do cry at the end no matter how many times I see it.

On a personal level, The Boy Who Could Fly left an impact on me as a child, making me fall in love with films. For 2015, I simply loved Ant-Man, by no means deep or revolutionary, but a film that so many comic-book adaptations fail to be: fun.

For actors working today, I am thankful for James McAvoy and Mia Wasikowska. Even when they are in bad films, they do what they can to elevate the project. For those from the past, Claude Rains, Doris Day, Charlton Heston, the late Maureen O’Hara and the underappreciated and almost forgotten Jack Carson will always be stars whose films I’ll always watch.

I am thankful for Cecil B. DeMille, John Ford, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, David Lynch, and Martin Scorsese. I think they are all great directors with their own unique style and brilliant in their own way.

Andy Crump @ Paste Magazine
Every month, The Criterion Collection curates a slew of releases for great films, some iconic, others less so; they give the same care to under-appreciated fringe films as to established and celebrated classics, from VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS to IKIRU, while still finding space to honor modern films like TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT. It’s film school in a home release format. You will never go wrong with any Blu-ray that gets the Criterion treatment, ever, and you’ll learn something valuable – even if that “something valuable” is limited only to a single movie – in the process.

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk Online
Christopher Nolan, because he dares to dream–and aim–higher.

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
For US Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful for Meryl Streep. Her performances continually amaze me, and reviewing her work reminds me why I love to write about movies. There’s not a turkey yet on her plate.

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
As Thanksgiving rolls toward us and I look into my magic window I call The Movies, there is no one element for which I am thankful. I love the whole thing. From my vantage point, the movies are a picture window onto a world that never existed. They present a visual time-stamp of attitudes and ideas of a time long gone, never to be retrieved. Like a moving photograph they capture people and events that are long gone. Watch an old newsreel sometime, maybe from the 30s or 40s and you will see people passing in and out of the frame who were alive then, now most likely dead, captured forever within the tiny scope of the camera’s lens. You can recreate the Hindenburg with special effects, and you can tell your grandchildren stories about it, but we have it on film for the entire world to see, a terrible event captured on film that took place generations before many of us were even born. Movies have been around now for well over 100 years and it is pretty good bet they’ll be around for another century, maybe more. There’s just nothing like it. Nothing else has quite the same impact. Dick Clark said the “music is the soundtrack of our lives”, meaning that we can be taken mentally to a different point in our lives just by revisiting them. Movies do the same thing. We remember where we were and who we were with when we experienced the great movies. They’re always there and hopefully they always will be.

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