In the spring of 1996, we went on our first family vacation to Europe – to London and Lisbon to be specific. London lived up to its reputation – a metropolis steeped in history, rain, tradition, and endless rain. When we visited again, two years later in 1998, it was more of the same – culture, sightseeing, rain, and endless rain. Hey, at least the sights, which I had the chance to refresh my memory of in September 2012, were fascinating. Lisbon wasn’t as memorable as London but that’s mostly because the sights aren’t as world-famous as those in London. But what it lacked in touristy things, it made up with its exquisite cuisine and landscapes. I’ll always cherish the lush green vistas I got to see while travelling by train through the Portuguese countryside. I got to see a lot more that when we went on our second long European family vacation in 1998. This second trip also included a visit to Paris, Euro Disney, Malaga (Spain), and Rome. Memories!
Prior to 1998, I wasn’t into movies all that much so almost every movie that I list as a favorite moving forward is something I watched between 1999 and 2001 – the period in which I devoured new movies as if they were going extinct. The Coens’ FARGO was one of those movies. I know I liked it the first time I watched it but I didn’t warm up to it the way I did with its contemporaries like the Tom Cruise-twofer of Jerry Maguire and Mission: Impossible, Secrets & Lies, Sling Blade, and Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting. Shit, I even liked Independence Day more than it, but that was probably because it was the first Hollywood movie I remember seeing on the big screen. Since I had never seen a Coen brother movie prior to Fargo, I expected the film to be a straight-up thriller. Instead, what I got was a dark, twisted, insanely violent, and goofy comedy in which everybody spoke in strange accents. It was only when I watched it a few years later while it played on TV one night that I finally “got” it. I guess that goes for a lot of the Coens’ pictures. Their richness, which are rooted in the small moments, aren’t always evident at first but give it another go and you’ll see how much they grow.
Movies are a huge part of my life – I mean, why else would I be running a blog/site devoted to movies? To commemorate the occasion of my 30th birthday (later this month), I’ll be counting down to the big day by posting a photo of my favorite movie for each year of the last 30 years I’ve survived on this planet. These aren’t my favorite 30 movies EVER but merely the movie I consider my favorite (or the best) of each year. This is my 30 for 30. Click here to see the other 30 for 30 posts.