Getting Emotional with Movies, Part 1: Joy
My favorite reading material to leaf through while I’m taking care of some personal matters in the bathroom is Time Out’s 1000 Films to Change Your Life. The book is organized into ten chapters, each focusing on a particular emotion that a person might experience while watching a movie. In each chapter, a list is provided intended to exemplify the films that best evoke whatever emotion the chapter is exploring. Of course, no two people are always going to experience the same emotions when watching a film, and so everyone’s individual lists will differ.
After spending many hours debating with myself over which movies represent the purest distillation of each emotion to me, I threw together this list of movies that never fail to get my emotional juices flowing. (NOTE: In order to dig a little deeper into my movie watching past, I will not be including some of my more obvious choices. I’ve mentioned Bandidas in enough of my articles as it is. I’m not even sure what emotion to assign it to, since it encompasses the total cinematic experience.) So, from my lavatory to your computer screen, here are the choices:
Never underestimate the power of a few swinging tunes to turn a movie into a life-affirming experience. Not that I like musicals as a rule, but under the right circumstances a catchy song can echo in my psyche for decades. That’s a gift of happiness that keeps on giving.
A low-key apocalyptic romance set in a dreary apartment building… with periodic musical interludes featuring the songs of Grace Chang! The Hole totally took me by surprise upon on my first viewing with its out of nowhere song and dance numbers. And I’d never heard of the Chinese actress/singer Grace Chang before. Now I sing “Oh Calypso” to myself almost on a daily basis. I dare you to watch these clips from The Hole and tell me you don’t feel happier to be alive. (NOTE: YouTube has videos of the actual Grace Chang performing her songs. The woman in the movie is just lip-synching.)
I’ve never seen The Pirates of Penzance musical, which The Pirate Movie is a variation on. But I’m not too concerned. Since The Pirates of Penzance doesn’t have “Pumpin’ and Blowin'” (below), which is the greatest 80’s movie song known to me, it couldn’t possibly be as entertaining. Even with all the cheesy innuendo and bad jokes, The Pirate Movie is one of the few movies from my youth that has maintained it’s ability to strap a rocket to my spirits.
As an added bonus, here’s the song “Cool Rider” from Grease 2 performed by Michelle Pfeiffer. It comes close to topping “Pumpin’ and Blowin'” with 80’s musical awesomeness, but the rest of the movie isn’t all that good.
Also, there’s the Argentinian film Fuego with a theme song that I can’t get out of my head. Fuego is a tragic tale about a nymphomaniac (Isabel Sarli) spiraling out of control rather than a musical, but everyone should experience the spicy rhythms, regardless. (WARNING: Clip shows people making out.)
And if that wasn’t fiery enough for you, here’s another scene from the movie. Is it seductive or hilarious? You decide.
Be sure to get yourself riled up for Monday when we’ll continue with part 2 – Anger.
This post is part of our User Showcase series. You can find Chad as kingofpain on Flickchart. If you’re interested to submit your own story or article describing your thoughts about movies and Flickchart, read our original post for how to become a guest writer here on the Flickchart Blog.