Alexis Powers: Watching films more than once can be enlightening

You'll catch many things you didn't notice initially
2012-10-18T00:00:00Z Alexis Powers: Watching films more than once can be enlighteningOpinion by Alexis Powers Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

When my granddaughter visited years ago, she watched "The Little Mermaid" over and over again. I couldn't understand why she enjoyed seeing the film so many times. Well, guess what? Now that I'm beyond middle age, I've acquired a similar habit: I love to watch movies that I've seen before.

I don't compulsively watch "The Little Mermaid." Things are not that crazy. I rent or tape movies I've enjoyed in the past. One film that I've watched more times than I'll admit is "Chicago." Sometimes I even get up and dance along with the music. Unfortunately, when I dance, my dogs Charlie and Toots get so excited that they start barking or jumping on me. That puts a damper on my dancing!

A year or two after I've watched a film, the second showing not only feels like I'm seeing it for the first time but I notice things I didn't catch initially. The film "Fracture" with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling confused me, but the second viewing gave me enough information to understand the complexities of the script. By the fourth time I watched it, I nailed down what they were talking about.

The old black-and-white films didn't show explicit sex. Your imagination filled in the blanks. In older films, when you saw the characters having breakfast in the morning, you knew what had happened the night before.

One of the most seductive scenes I ever saw in a film was Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway playing chess in "The Thomas Crown Affair." Watching them interact without touching made the screen sizzle.

One of the most loved films, "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr contains no sex, no violence and no foul language. What a concept!

Do I need to watch people undress, have sex, then use the toilet? Absolutely not! Recently I watched "Anatomy of a Murder" with Lee Remick and James Stewart. The film is easy to understand, with great trial scenes accompanied by superb performances by the actors. Remick keeps her clothes on throughout the film while exuding abundant sex appeal.

Friends say it sounds boring to watch a film you've already seen. What bores me are films featuring multiple explosions and wild special effects, like an actor jumping out of a helicopter and landing on top of a bus without even spraining her ankle.

Why does something have to be blown up to make a film exciting? How many films compare with "Psycho"? I almost jumped out of my seat when Anthony Perkins threw one of the characters down the stairs. And of course the shower scene scared me half to death. "The Birds" was another film that frightened viewers without explosions.

In some films the music is so loud I can't hear what the actors are saying.

I am grateful to the movie industry for all the awesome films I've seen over the last half century, and I'd be sad if I couldn't watch some movies again and again.

As I get older, who knows - I may wind up like my granddaughter and watch "Fracture" or "Burn After Reading" hour after hour.

On StarNet: Read recent columns by Alexis Powers at azstarnet.com/alexispowers

Email Alexis Powers at northwest@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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