Classics for Comfort Blogathon
This post is part of the Classic Movie Blog Association's Classics for Comfort Spring Blogathon from May 19-22, 2020. First off, make sure you visit the CMBA website for links to all the other blog posts, it is going to be an EPIC list of movies.
If you are reading this, I hope you are safe, your family is safe and you are sheltering in place and wearing a mask when you go out. Be safe, stay healthy!
As CMBA set out in their invitation to the members, "There are so many terrific classic films out there that soothe and comfort us. Whether it's a dreamy musical number, a breezy, fun plot, or simply some delightful movie magic, there's something for everyone to enjoy in the world of classic cinema that can be comforting. With this blogathon, we're asking that you generate a "Top 5" list of some of your favorite classic comfort movies. By the end of the blogathon, we'll have quite a wonderful list of comfort movie recommendations to enjoy!"
Like just about everyone else in my state, I've been sheltering in place since March 17, 2020. Working from home, indulging in a little too much retail therapy (CDs, DVD/Blurays) and baking more than is really good for me. I suspect it is a fair guess others have been doing much the same. I can also go WAY beyond a list of five films for comfort watching. I will post a second list tomorrow of five other films.
You might notice a theme of Italy here. It is on my mind, I was set to travel to Italy for my birthday this year. Sadly, it will be delayed until 2021. Italy, however, is still very much in my mind and in my heart. The list I have come up for today features traveling to distant lands, other times and climes, places to get you out of your head and into another world entirely. In no particular order:
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
The are few films that can match the magic and splendor of Douglas Fairbanks' 1924 epic fantasy The Thief of Bagdad. This film takes you to a magical land, the story of the Thief, the Princess and a quest of four suitors to win her hand. You have a flying carpet, a flying horse, a romance, treachery, sumptuous settings, gorgeous costuming and a hero that you root for from the instant his smile erupts on the screen.
Ideally one should see this in the theater, since we are all barred form that pleasure, the magical carpet ride will be in your living room. If you need to get away from the world of today, this film can offer you an escape that is perfect for doing exactly that.
You can purchase this title on multi-format/bluray from Cohen Media and you can also stream it from the Cohen Media Channel on amazon (rent it for $1.99)
Italy has been a country deeply and tragically affected by the ravages of COVID-19. David Lean's 1955 film will take you out of this world and into postwar Venice that is not only a love story, it is a love letter to the soul of Venice itself.starring Katharine Hepburn as a repressed American tourist who is set free and flowers in the arms of shopkeeper Rossano Brazzi (swoon).
The film fills you with the magic that is Venice, the real or imagined Venice, the Venice that everyone dreams of visiting.
Enchanted April (1992)
Based on Elizabeth von Armin's 1922 novel, Mike Leigh's 1992 film Enchanted April is such a special film to me. Taking place in a period of time that is very interesting and appealing to me, post WWI, when life was still a little bit more genteel and friendships made in Ladies Clubs were friendships for life. The awakenings of each of the protagonists to their own feelings, to love, to friendship and the wonderment of the joys of life, if one takes that step off the precipice.
I hardly need to explain the beauty of F.W. Murnau's masterpiece Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans. It is a simple tale, of love, betrayal, and of love overcoming fear. So artfully put together, the settings expressionistic, the characters so sympathetic, so very human in their desires, failings and renewal. Well deserving for the accolades over these decades. This beautiful film takes you from the country to the wide city with every emotion you can feel.
Bread and Tulips (2000)
Returning to Venice for one of my most favorite modern films. A comedy and drama with loads of heart. It is one that takes you not to the Venice of the Grand Canal, but Venice where the natives live. I was thoroughly charmed by this when I first saw it. Do not miss this lovely film.