Filling a Hole

February 19, 2023

There is a huge hole in my American cultural life.. lots of holes, actually: a million books I’ve never read, music I know very little about and don’t even get me started on video gaming, or fan fiction, or tiktok…

But thanks to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Davis, I am filling the American Movie Classic hole. Well, hardly filling. There are more movies in the world than I have time left to watch, but I’m scratching the surface a bit, which is pretty fun. The Odd Fellows has been offering fall and spring series of classic films — four films in a series — for ten years. Darrick Bang is the movie guru who introduces the films and adds all manner of trivia and cool information about the production, the stars, the backstories. He’s so damn knowledgeable and entertaining (takes me back to the earliest days of DCTV when Darrick produced one of our first-ever shows, a movie review show, the name of which escapes me, that was one of the most impressive displays of knowledge, efficiency and poise I’ve ever seen).

I believe this is only our second — maybe third — series. The pandemic interrupted everything just as we were getting into a seasonal rhythm, but we’re back now and tonight was night one of the 2023 spring series.

This time around the theme is war comedies. I would NEVER think I’d enjoy such a thing, but you sorta can’t help it when Darrick plies you with the rich and interesting stories behind these films. They’re usually film titles you’re familiar with and certainly feature stars you feel like you should know. I’m always like, so THAT’S fill-in-the-blank-mega-star-from-the-olden-days.

I always walk out of the Odd Fellows hall with a feeling of improved cultural self esteem. Let’s hear it for cultural competency!

Tonight we saw this film from 1949:

It was long, it was a bit over the top silly, but I still enjoyed it. A huge part of that is about getting a look at the era. The attitudes, the sexism, the cigarettes, the humor, the dialogue. People were watching this movie almost 75 years ago! The characters in the film were somewhere in their twenties.. as were my parents when they saw it (presuming they did… probably date night while in college or grad school).

So yeah.. filling a cultural hole AND connecting with my parents. That’s a win.

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