Hypothetical Film Festival – Ariana Birthday Edition!

So today is my beautiful girlfriend, Ariana’s birthday. She is in Puerto Rico and myself in Nashville so it can be a little sad some times to have to wait and deal with overpriced airline tickets and saving up enough to live in the same place. That said, she has gotten a few creative birthday gifts from me recently (a solo D&D campaign designed for her, my class from student teaching wishing her happy birthday over the phone). Here is her third gift: a blog post devoted to her 😀



Persepolis (2007, dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud)

This was the first film Ariana and I saw in the theater. She came up to visit in February of 2008. She had read the graphic novel the film was based on recently and by sheer lucky it was playing for a couple week at the Green Hills 16. It was a cloudy afternoon and, after stopping by Lipscomb, we walked over to the theater and saw it. Afterwards, it was dinner at Cheeseburger Charlie’s and grabbing some groceries before heading home. In a lot of ways it was the first official “date” if you think of dates as consisting of things like a “dinner and a movie”. The film is great, I think particularly because Satrapi was directly involved.



Airplane! (1980, dir. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker)

This was on the same visit as Persepolis above. Airplane! was being shown as a Midnight Movie at the Belcourt and sort of structured a night around it. First, we visited the Frist Museum, they had an exhibit on the Impressionists at the time, and Ariana being an graphic designer major enjoyed it. We played around in the kid art exhibit afterwards, making prints and goofing off. Then it was dinner at Jackson’s where I had some amazing grilled tuna, thinking about it makes me hungry. Then Airplane! where the employees of the Belcourt introduced the film the same way flight attendants prepare a plane for takeoff. It was lots of fun.



The Happening (2008, dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

Without a doubt one of the funniest experiences I have ever had in a movie theater. During my first visit to Puerto Rico we decided to go see this picture. We both a little lukewarm about M. Night but I figured it might be good. Boy, were we wrong. Throughout the film we kept turning to each other with looks of “Is this for real?”, I kept reassuring her “I’m sure there’s going to be some twist to explain why everyone is acting completely unnatural”. The film became a madcap comedy to us at the point where Mark Whalberg sings “Black Water” in an attempt to prove to some people he and his companions are not affected by the virus. You can see the clip here. I knew I loved Ariana when she noticed two shots with boom mikes in the frame that I completely missed. The Happening has become a comedic touchstone in our relationship.



The Dark Knight (2008, dir. Christopher Nolan)

As soon as I saw the first trailer of this one I thought, “I want to see that movie with Ariana.” This is something we tell each other frequently when an upcoming films looks like something that appeals to our geeky sensibilities. I’m not exactly sure why, but there is just something great about sharing that first viewing of an amazing film with the person you love. I remember us both leaving the theater in a sort of dazed high, the geek centers of our brains overloading with stimulation. I saw the film many times since, but no viewing has matched as great as it was seeing it with her.



Waltz With Bashir (2008, dir. Ari Folman)

I first saw this film by myself, then during a visit by Ari I want her to come see it with me. Being a graphic designer she liked the visuals. I was a little ticked that she fell asleep during the middle (she was getting a cold if I remember right) but I made sure to keep her awake. Afterwards we got some amazing Indian food at a restaurant that got turned into a taco place now. It sucks because the saffron rice at that place made me happy to be alive.

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