Nicolas Cage, Cher, 'Moonstruck'

For, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: This column from the Jan. 17, 1988, Deseret News, ran during the run-up to the Sundance Film Festival (before it adopted the "Sundance" moniker) but the musings on being a movie buff are still relevant.

Spending all my time in Park City for the next week covering the United States Film Festival, and all the preparation and prefest interviews that have occupied the past couple of weeks, hasn't released me from my regular movie-reviewing obligations, of course — and the great flick influx hasn't slowed down a bit, as last week's eight new movies proved.

Pondering my bleary-eyed fate brings to mind a question that is frequently asked by people I meet: "Don't you ever get tired of seeing movies?"

The answer is yes, of course.  But only when I've seen a number of bad movies in a row.

Sitting through "The Couch Trip, " "For Keeps" and "Return of the Living Dead, Part II" last week was more than even a movie critic should have to endure in tandem.

Having them broken up by the likes of "Good Morning Vietnam," "Moonstruck" and Friday's premiere festival showing of "Au Revoir Les Enfants" more than helped.

There have been occasions, however, when there have been as many as 10 or 15 in a row that are pretty awful, prompting me to consider returning to aircraft assembly or door-to-door cutlery sales.

But then that special film comes along — and all it takes is one — and I'm bolstered up and ready to go again.

Don Marshall's article in this section today about the many film festivals he attends and the hundreds more movies he sees than I would want to, makes me wonder where being a movie-buff leaves off and being a rabid addict takes over.

I suspect Marshall is the latter, while I remain the former.  And I'm not sorry about that.  But I understand how he feels, and perhaps only another real film fan would understand.


      Walter Matthau, Dan Aykroyd, Lobby Card for 'The Couch Trip'

There is something magical about being carried away for a couple of hours when a movie really captures your imagination.  Oh, it's wonderful when a movie touches a universal theme that makes us all sigh, cry, laugh or get scared together, but it's also quite nice to be singularly spirited away to another place or time or even an existence so fantastic that only the greatest cinematic imaginations could possibly put it on the screen.

And the only thing more enjoyable than seeing movies is writing about them.  Being able to write about movies makes even suffering through the worst pictures worthwhile.

They call it "Movie Magic," and that pretty well sums it up.

Anyway, all us movie nuts will be up in Park City though next weekend, seeing movies, talking about them, mingling with the people who make them and just hashing over the cinema.

Getting film buffs together all in one place can be pretty obnoxious to the outsider — spouses run screaming from the room, dates go looking for a jock or an accountant, and no one will play Trivial Pursuit's "Silver Screen Edition" with us.

But that's OK.

This week we'll be making up our own.

The Park City edition.