movie picks

Linette and I were sitting at a coffee shop a few days ago, working on our Christmas cards, when a tall, thin man pulled up a chair alongside of us and introduced himself. He said he was a reporter and that hed been sitting on the other side of the coffee shop, watching us. Seeing that we were clearly not buying his story, he then whipped out his billfold and flashed us a business card under plastic that said reporter, in order to prove it. In spite of this slick, detective-like move, I was still a bit apprehensive. And, although we let our guard down and bit and started chatting with him, I kept thinking that our conversation would end in either 1) a request for gas money, 2) an introduction to his friend and savior, Jesus Christ, or 3) some kind of daring sexual proposition.

His reason for talking with us, it was soon revealed, was an article that hed been assigned. Hed been told to come up with something on the films that people would be watching this New Years and he was stumped. Up until that moment, hed been able to come up with one idea – When Harry Met Sally. (Apparently theres a scene in that film that takes place on New Years Eve.)

Anyway, he was a nice guy and we sat there with him for about 25 minutes and chatted about other films with New Years Eve plotlines and/or themes of redemption and renewal. Well, his article came out today in the Detroit News. As he mentions in the piece, we recommended Groundhog Day, The Poseidon Adventure, and the first Thin Man film. There was other stuff too, but I cant remember it all. I know that I mentioned the classic William Powell film My Man Godfrey, but he must have decided to cut that. I also sang Theres Got to be a Morning After from the Poseidon Adventure, but he didnt mention that either.

Its too bad that he left out the mention of My Man Godfrey. I think, out of all the films we discussed, that would be my New Years pick. Not only does the plot revolve around changing fortunes and such, I believe the action begins at a swank New Years Eve party, during which the depression-era socialite invitees are urged to go on a scavenger hunt. This scavenger hunt includes, among other items, one forgotten man. (The forgotten men were essentially those people who had lost everything during the depression and migrated to shantytowns built around garbage dumps.) William Powell, one of my favorite actors, plays a forgotten man Its got a good message for the New Year. Trust me.

Now, on a completely different matter

I got a piece of good news this morning. It looks like the San Francisco literary institution, and home of the Beat generation, City Lights Books will be carrying Crimewave. They just placed their first order and I thought that was pretty cool. I love the idea that, just days from now, someone will be able to grab a copy off their historic shelves and then amble across the alleyway to Vesuvios, one of my favorite bars on the west coast. Yes, by they end of the week someone will be sitting in the same seat that the great Jack Kerouac once sat at, drinking a beer and reading about my fat, dimpled ass. It brings a tear to the eye.

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