A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #16: Ishtar (1987). Critics panned this film when it was released, but it has a many ardent fans, mostly based on the first half hour, which is set in New York City before the locale moves to Morocco. Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty play against type as terrible song writing lounge singers. The songs are hilarious and clever, and were written by song master Paul Williams. A favorite of mine -“I’m Leaving Some Love in My Will.” Give it a try on some slow night.
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #10: Shaft (1971). I saw it with my family when I was eleven. What was Dad thinking? (We all had a great time.) The movie has one of the best opening sequences ever filmed and was wildly innovation its day. Theme from Shaft won Isaac Hays a well deserved Oscar. The movie is a standout of the Blaxploitation movement. It’s a little dated, but who cares? “Who is the man who would risk his life for his brother man” still resonates. Watch it on Pay-per-view and feel the groove.
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #8: Apocalypse Now (1979). I advise watching it with the lights low in one sitting. The bigger the screen the better. It will blow your mind.
A Movie Lover’s Favorites to get you through the pandemic #6: City Lights (1931). The Little Tramp, Charlie Chaplin’s alter ego, is at his best in this movie. It’s a comedy and a love story, and has the most poignant ending ever captured on film. Put some Kleenex by the couch because you may need it
A Movie Lover’s favorites to get you through the pandemic #5: A Hard Day’s Night (1964.) Everything we love about the Beatles is on display in this movie; their humor; their irreverence; the music that still seems fresh and will fill you with joy. Watch it and sing along. You’ll feel better if you do, I promise.
A Movie Lover’s favorites to get you through the pandemic, #4: Dr. Zhivago. (1965). What could be better than three plus hours of the Russian revolution? This film stars possibly the most gorgeous cast ever, Omar Sharif and Julie Christi. Make some borscht, pull your balalaika out of the garage and strum along to the haunting and lovely Lara’s Theme.
I became a crazy movie person when I was twelve, and I’ve seen at least one movie a week in theaters since I was fourteen. People always inquire about my favorite film. I have dozens of them, some well known, and others obscure. While everyone is sheltering in place at home I thought I’d share some of them with my readers. On the Waterfront (1954) is my number one favorite movie. It has a complex social history dating back to the 1930s, great writing, crisp directing, and a host of stunning performances. If you’ve never seen it now is the time to watch it.
Running a therapy group on happiness is one of my favorite job responsibilities. There’s a huge industry focused on happiness. While doing research for the group, I learned that optimism boosts happiness, so we discuss this concept in the group. Like many of the things that make people happy, optimism may be innate, or we may have to mindfully develop the habits and skills that boost this attitude. Here’s my template for optimism: Be hopeful. Show up. Do your best. Let go. Repeat. Over the years, I’ve found it’s a winning formula.
In December 1981, I moved into an apartment in Mountain View, California, when Silicon Valley was in its nascent phase. My brother, Charles, and, Margaret, my future sister-in-law, who lived over an hour away in Berkeley, visited me several times, together and separately.Sometime in the spring, Charles looked around my apartment and asked if I owned any tools. I didn’t—not a hammer, screwdriver, or pliers. This seemed to trigger some paternal impulse in him. He declared that I needed to own basic tools. At his insistence, we walked over to Sears, located few blocks away, and he bought me a hammer and screwdriver combo. I still use them almost forty years later. I am forever indebted to Charles for his fount of big-brother wisdom and care.