The Day We Argued About Movies

Dear Michael,

You and I went for a walk one day and the whole time talked movies. You were maybe 16 or so. It was never planned that we would talk movies. I invited you to take a walk around the neighborhood and that’s just what wound up happening. Nobody planned a symposium or anything.

I was just glad you accepted my invitation in the first place. Even back then, it was pretty rare for you to do so.

Anyway, we probably talked about all the movies you always liked (and I did, too, mostly). As we crossed Queens Boulevard, you probably said something about the great stunts in “Diehard” – about, say, Bruce Willis being dragged out the window of that skyscraper or the flames shooting up the elevator shaft at him. And I probably said something about how much I liked the script – about its rich texture, say, and the believable backstory about marriage and kids.

We must have talked about all kinds of other movies, too, from “Ghostbusters” and “Superman” to “Predator” and “The Last Action Hero.” And I probably said something about my favorite movies too – “The Godfather,” “Double Indemnity,” “On The Waterfront,” “It Happened One Night.” We’ve always joked about how for you movie history extends back only about as far as “Jaws,” and I’ve tried to give you an appreciation of what went before.

And so, as we made our rounds near Forest Hills High School, near 108th Street – it was one of our longest walks together, at least an hour, maybe two – we went back and forth, scholars of cinema making our points about style and substance. And here’s what I remember most about that walk and that talk that day.

P.S. – Part 2 will appear tomorrow.

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