Saturday, June 7, 2008

Because the apocalypse *should* be funny...

A Boy and His Dog is my favorite movie. Not for the special effects (which are nonexistant); not for the random sex (though that is a nifty part); certainly not for the soundtrack (which desperately needs to be remastered). But because it is hilarious, campy, and everything a movie should be.

They played it at the Loft Theater tonight as part of their "Cult Classics" series. I tell you, seeing this movie on the big screen was one of the most wonderful cinematic experiences of my life. I was afraid that it would lose some of its punch - after all, I've watched it enough times that I know the jokes, including the big one at the end, backwards and forwards. There's something about experiencing these jokes with an audience, much of which has clearly never seen the flick, that made me relive the first time I ever saw the movie - only this time, I'm not 12 and I get it even better. The moment at the end when everything just comes together so perfectly, so twisted...when the audience falls silent for half a second then breaks into hysterical laughter...

But I won't spoil it for you.

I think part of the reason I love this movie so much is that it was one of the defining moments of my childhood. It was one of my dad's favorites, and he was overjoyed to find an old VHS copy for sale at our local drugstore/video rental place. But he wouldn't let me watch it. I was too young; I wouldn't get it; I'd have to have it explained and that would ruin it for me later. (I was probably 8 or 9. It probably says something about the way I was raised that my parents were not remotely concerned that I might see graphic violence and serious full nudity, but rather that I wouldn't get a joke.) So I waited. And one day, I asked if I was old enough to watch it...and my parents said yes. This was a milestone more profound than middle school graduation, more important than learning to drive. It meant I was finally my parents' intellectual equal (or close enough), able to comprehend on an adult level. It seems like such a small thing now, with 15 years' distance and a life that rivals this movie in sheer oddness (though, thankfully, not in plotline). But it was a big deal at the time, and a feeling that I have carried with me since that day.

Watch the film (if you can find it). It's a good one.

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