February is a bad month here in Wisconsin. No matter how you slice it and how you prepare for it, February gets you. I have no fewer than 3 friends who were actually felled by the month -- sliced down and broken. Physically. Basically, it sucks.
So thank goodness for TCM's Thirty Days of Oscar. Thirty full days of movies that were somehow honored by the Academy. Awesome.
My favorite movies are the melodramas of the 1930s. The themes are amazing and oddly relevant to today, if not just a little overly emotional. The dangers of repressed sexuality, the horror of being plain, and racism. Oh, the racism. Still, these movies are a tonic to me. A great escape from the reality of February. And a wonderful reminder of the times spent with my mother. LOVE turning my own kid onto these great films.
When I was growing up, they were just starting to show movies on TV. There was limited licensing though, so many were shown over and over. I would watch "Patch of Blue" or "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" with my grandma and they not only bonded me to her forever, but helped to form my sense of humor, pathos and perspective. Later on I had the same experience with my mom, watching Stella Dallas and A Place in the Sun. I still play her commentary over when I watch those movies.
Here's a partial list of the movies I've seen this past month, some that I've seen before and loved, and some that I've just now finally seen:
Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, Gone with the Wind, Smash-Up, Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Lolita, Days of Wine and Roses, The Jazz Singer, BUtterfield 8, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Enchanted Cottage, Portrait of Jennie, Six Degrees of Separation, Farmer's Daughter, Imitation of Life, Mildred Pierce, Stage Door, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Peyton Place, That Hamilton Woman and just now, Funny Girl.