I love movies, though these days I rarely seem to have the time to go to the theatre. Here are my personal favorites. Some are cinematic masterpieces, some…aren’t. But I love each one, because they make me think, or laugh, or count my blessings, or discomfit me upon each viewing. Which movies do you love?
In the 1960s television sitcom “Get Smart” (whose reruns I watched as a kid every afternoon on Super Station WTBS), at the most crucial moments of discernment and decision, Max, Agent 99, and the Chief would sit across a table and activate “the cone of silence.” The futuristic, Plexiglass cone would descend from the ceiling and envelop all the conversation partners. But the cone never worked correctly. It was an echo chamber. Rather than facilitating listening, the cone of silence prevented anyone from hearing anyone else. Max, Agent 99, and the Chief could make out only a word here or a phrase there, and through their partial hearing they often came to the wrong conclusions. They ended up frustrated and confused, unable to discern how to move forward. The irony was that, at the very moment in which listening to one another was most important, the characters created conditions in which listening was impossible.
When Jill, the kids, and I lived in Roanoke, Virginia, we were frequent visitors to the Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamsburg. Griffin loved the roller coasters; Eliza loved the water rides; and Jill and I enjoyed the European themes. We could visit England, Italy, and France without ever boarding an airplane.