Sunday, November 14, 2004

Time for a Movie

I was 13 years old when my Mom took me to see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It was restricted, so she had to sign me in. I will never forget it. I had not seen a movie like it before. I was frightened. I laughed. I was shocked. I was sad and angry at the end, but also full of hope as I watched the Chief disappear into the mist. Images from the movie have stuck with me through all of those years. Of course I read the novel immediately afterwards. It was one of those few times that I felt like the film lived up to the book. I still think of it as one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Somehow, a couple of weeks ago, my 11 year-old and I got into a conversation that led us around to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I can't remember if she was questioning me about the meaning of some reference to it on Futurama or the Simpsons or if we were talking about mental illness and institutions...Anyway, I decided we should watch this movie together. So I rented it on Friday. It's a 7-day dvd rental now.

On Friday evening my daughter was reluctant to watch it. My husband advised her that it was really an adult movie, so she needed to be ready for some harsh scenes that might be hard to watch. I didn't push it. On Saturday evening I decided to watch it myself, and let her choose. She was right there. For part of the movie she crawled into my arms on the couch, and she asked questions all the way through - about which characters were "committed" and which "voluntary" and who's girlfriend Candy was. She was sorting out a lot of mature ideas and concepts but she kept up pretty well. She noticed that there was no music except for during the credits at the beginning and end, and the music that the nurses played on the ward on that old record player to keep the patients docile. She said, "I've never seen a movie with just the real sounds and quiet when everyone is quiet." It made me realise again how special and different this movie is. I was delighted to see that the story appealed to her quirky sense of humour and to her sturdy sense of justice and intense insistence on qualities of humanity. You know that feeling when someone you love loves something you love and you say "yeah!" That was there.

I loved watching it again. My daughter liked it very much. I'm glad my Mom took me to see it. I'm glad I watched it with my daughter.

Question: 21st Century rite of passage?

mompoet: soaking up the good stuff

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