Given all the personal malarkey in my life, I should have made more
time to read, whether it was Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser, or even
So, in my hour of darkness (or, at least, dimness), what do I do?
I head on down to Left Bank Books, browse a little, purchase a used copy of Kevin Murphy's A Year At the Movies and read it cover to cover.
That's right - Tom Servo himself, the man, the myth, the dessert topping,
actually spent one whole year (2001) watching movies...and sharing his
experiences in book form, and this is easily one of the best books about
movies that I have read.
It's hard to encapsulate how wonderful, how life affirming, how whiz-
bang fun this book is...and it's not just that Mr. Murphy discusses
really cool places he's seen movies, but it's an ultimate reminder about
the power of good filmmaking. Ranging from a theater where a guy sells
tickets out of his bedroom window, to an igloo in northern Canada,
and the best essay on 9/11 (the event) that I have ever read...
this book is a treat. It is an easy read, and Mr. Murphy's comments
about the state of filmmaking, Cannes, Sundance, etc, are well worth it.
(Personally, my favorite chapter - and where I wish I had "been there" - was
where he and Mike Nelson, his former Mystery Science Theater 3000 costar, risk life, limb, and sanity to watch Corky Romano in a theater.
Although they may have experience with bad movies, Corky Romano -
much like Monkeybone - is the cinematic equivalent of slow, painful torture. It is not a movie to be taken lighty -it is pure evil on film.
I hereby nominate Kevin Murphy and Michael J. Nelson for the Congressional Medal of Honor. I kid you not.)
At a time where movies are becoming less movie-ish, where films like
Farenheit 9/11 and The Village are becoming better
known as stunts than actual filmmaking, this book is sorely needed.
Reading this book will change your life, your outlook, and help you
appreciate the movies a little bit more.
Thanks, Kevin. We really needed it.