It's still kinda hard to believe that my Dad passed away some six months ago. And that today is my first Father's Day without him...It's been hard but thankfully I have an excellent support system that is helping me muddle though.
Just as did with my Mom I want to devote some space to share my movie memories that focus on him....
Dad HATED going to the movies. He thought everything was overpriced (He's not wrong there!) and did not like sitting in a darkened theater for very long. The last film he saw at the cineplex was the Oscar-winning epic Titanic for heaven's sake--believe me with a 3 hour plus running time it was a tough slog for him. When I asked him later that day what he thought of James Cameron's hit film; His reply? "It was OK." He could not understand what all the fuss was about.
My parents shared many favorite films: The film saga of Rocky Balboa; Mel Brooks' comedies like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and High Anxiety; the first two Godfather films--that said he also had his own list as well. His favorite actress was Sophia Loren. She has talent to be sure. But I also think her Italian accent had a lot to do with the reason she was tops on his list. Yeah let's go with that. Among actors Sean Connery and his exploits as James Bond were tops. He may not have enjoyed watching films with a long running time in the theater--in the comfort of his home--length did not matter 1970's biopic Patton starring the great George C. Scott in the title role (A must watch if you have never seen it), the star-studded biblical story The Ten Commandments (1956) and it's cousin--the original Ben-Hur (1959) were favorites. I wonder how he would feel about the upcoming remake of the latter?
I remember being in another part of my childhood home while my folks were watching television in the family room. I was working on a paper for one of my film classes--trying to beat back a case of writer's block for my conclusion. I was startled out of deep concentration by the sound of uncontrolled and very intense laughter. The sound originated from dad. I first thought he was in some sort of dis-stress...I rushed out to see what was going on...To my surprise by the time I got there dad was literally falling off our love seat--laughing so hard I thought he was gonna wet his pants. As it turns out he and mom were watching the comedy “What About Bob?” In the film a successful psychotherapist/author (Richard Dreyfuss) loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, (Bill Murray) a manipulative, obsessively compulsive narcissist, tracks him down during his family vacation.
Here's one of the bits Dad loved:
When I told Dad that I was quitting my job to make a short film---he was not a happy guy and not very supportive of the decision at all. It was a pretty heated exchange--I said things, he said things, pretty bad...I realized soon after that, just like Mom years earlier, he was just looking out for my best interest. I forged ahead with my writer/cinematographer Matt. While we were filming on location, he surprised me pulling up in his car, saying he wanted to see what we were up to. I don't think he had a clue what was happening. By the end of his set visit he helped us get some tricky shots on film--and then offered to buy everyone lunch. Once "Crossroads" was completed and he watched it he was all smiles. He did have one criticism--"I could have done without all of those curse words". Mind you growing up I heard Dad curse up a storm almost every day without much concern for my virgin ears...I treasure the footage that he helped us get and his set visit meant a lot.
Gosh I miss you dad--I wish you and mom were here...Thanks for all of your love and support. Some days are really rough. Love your son...
This post is also for my brother Nick--who is also a father to three girls--I love you...