I remember our first VCR, growing up. It was a huge behemoth, had the tape holder that popped up, from the top. We taped a lot of movies. There were several that I watched over and over and over including:
- The Man From Snowy River
- Indiana Jones
- The Black Stallion
- Harold and Maude
I loved the horsey flicks. Didn’t really care about the leading men in the movies back then (like Harrison Ford). These days I pay keen attention. (Hello, Daniel Craig, oh yeah!)
Last night I got home from work, first day there, it sucked. Made a PB&J. Must’ve been subliminal comfort food. Turned on the evil, glowing box. Watched a movie we had taped, in that giant VCR, which I hadn’t seen in over 20 years.
THE ELEPHANT MAN, done by David Lynch.
It was released in 1980. A very young, handsome Anthony Hopkins was the Dr. and John Hurt played “John Merrick” AKA The Elephant Man. I believe he won a film awarded for his portrayal, as he should have.
Funny thing is, I held onto the basic story all those years yet remembered very little of the actual film itwelf. I knew it would be in black and white. Once it started, I noted it to be very surreal and almost primitively “artsy” a la David Lynch. I’m surprised I didn’t remember more of it, given its graphic (mentally, not the graphic that describes movies today) nature.
Along with that keeping my interest, the story is fascinating. This is what the story is about, the morbid fascination we have in things far from “normal.” It is a classic story of good and evil both obviously represented and not so.
And…it is SAD. Heart-wrenchingly SAD. I soaked through fists of TP, flushing out my tear ducts profusely. Annabelle, bless her fuzzy little self parked herself by my shoulder and provided support, sharing warmth and offering an occasional (reassuring?) glance my way.
After, I turned off that big, glowing box, started up the small, glowing thin box, and researched The Elephant Man. His name was really Joeseph Merrick, not John as in the movie. Wikipedia will teach you some. He was an interesting character for Victorian times.
Rent the movie. It’s an oldie worth dusting off. Maybe you have an old VHS tape of it lying around? I wonder if my parents have tossed theirs?