I got into quite a strong flow of watching film during this time. My roommate Eddy would watch many of them with me, and because of his background an English major, we could discuss them like the nerd we truly were. I watched many documentaries during the first half of 2007, while I was still in Bellingham. Simultaneously, I was finishing up my year with AmeriCorps and starting to realize that working in schools at the elementary level was the job I was meant to do. Many of the documentaries I watched corresponded to this as they focused on the social welfare of children internationally (Born into Brothels, The Children Underground).
I found myself missing Tennessee, despite the beauty of the land around me. I made arrangements to return home in July and once my term with AmeriCorps finished in June, I had about a month of nothing to do. I discovered Spanish director Pedro Almodovar during this time and fell in love with his films. I started with Bad Education and quickly found All About My Mother, Talk To Her, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. What I loved about Almodovar was how visually alive his films looked. They’re full of color and bombastic characters, but on the flip side they have very deeply emotional moments that never feel dishonest.
I also picked up my own copy of the Scarecrow Movie Guide, a book put out by Scarecrow Video in Seattle, that catalogues a massive amount of films, some well known but most very obscure to the casual filmgoer. This book was crucial in helping me develop into a true appreciator of cinema and I feel that I have reached the point where I can put it aside and guide myself independently through film history. The Scarecrow Movie Guide encouraged me to pick a director and fully devour their work completely, helping me finish up viewing Kubrick’s work.
Back in Tennessee, I discovered the beauty of BitTorrent and it ability to open the door to an almost infinite number of film experiences. So many films, not available at the library or even in the country on DVD, were waiting there and I found my consumption increase a hundredfold. It was also in this time that I solidified my decision to go into teaching and began a relationship with the most amazing person I have ever met in my life, Ariana. There are few experiences greater that being curled up with her and watching movies. I find myself impressed with how much she is growing in her film knowledge now. She even admits I’ve helped her appreciate the role a director plays in shaping a film.
I know that for the rest of my life, I will be in love with film. I look forward to sharing cinematic experiences with Ariana, with friends, with future children. I can’t wait to sit down with my own kids and show them The Wizard of Oz or Star Wars for the first time, and get to see their amazement as they discover these worlds.