17 January 2005

Time can do funny things to movies. Writing about how my perception of Dogville hasn't even survived the year, I was reminded of another unfortunate discovery: I no longer love Magnolia nearly as much as I did in college. Maybe I got to know it too well. There's still a lot to admire here, of course, but a lot of the beauty and excitement is gone. (Curiously, this isn't true of Boogie Nights, which seems even more organic and surprising than when I first saw it seven years ago.)

Other movies grow rather than diminish, of course: Spirited Away. Spellbound.

There's only one instance where I've fallen in love with a movie, then fallen out of love, then fallen in love again: The Shining. The first time I saw it, like many of us, I was blown away. Then, for various reasons, I became embarrassed by it: it seemed overproduced, empty. Now I love it more than ever, but as a Gothic comedy: incredibly rich and beautiful, and hideously funny.

In some cases, it's been so long since I've seen a movie that I no longer know how I feel about it. Case in point: New York, New York. Believe it or not, for years, this intensely troubled and problematic musical, sort of a collision between the 1950s and the 1970s with Liza Minnelli falling in love with Robert DeNiro, was my favorite movie. These days, I'm not sure how it rates, because it's only available on video, and even if I had my copy here, I wouldn't have the heart to subject it to comparatively fuzzy picture and sound. (Love it or hate it, you've got to admit that this is a film that demands crystal clarity.) Guess what? The DVD will finally be released on February 8. I'm excited. And wary.

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