Gratitude – Real film sets and puppets, and films that evoke memories.

I am grateful for movies with big special effects that are actual film of actual things that actually exist. We just watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi today. It was originally released in 1983. A lot of it was redone with digital special effects in 1997, and I bet that covered up a lot of the worst of the old edit, but I really like seeing the creature work of Yoda and all the rest of the aliens. The sets feel more real even when they look more fake, or at least I think so when I compare episodes 4-6 vs. episodes 1-3. I know that those places and creatures actually existed, even if they were mostly latex and foam. I might also just be nostalgic for the films of my youth. In fact, I certainly am.

I am grateful for the memories I have of watching those films originally. I can remember my Dad taking me to see Star Wars.  I remember being very impressed with all the fancy filagree and architectural detail of the venue. It was at the Palace Theatre in Calgary, before it was divided into smaller theatres. I remember when the yellow text was on the screen giving the prologue to the film, I was concerned that this was what the whole movie would be like. I remember being fascinated by kids sitting up in the balcony making their candy wrappers into noisemakers before the movie began. I am amazed I can remember all this. It must have been late 1977 or early 1978. I would have been a bit younger than my son, Cooper.

I can also remember walking out of the movie theatre when I went to see The Empire Strikes Back, this time it would have been 1980. I remember the feeling of being intoxicated by the hype before and after the movie, and this time I’m pretty sure it was my whole family, as well as my Grandma and late Grandad. I think we saw a lot of movies with my Grandma and Grandad. I remember him explaining what the computing term “tron” meant as we were going to see the film of the same name (1982, at the Chinook Mall theatre, in case you were wondering).

I’m especially grateful for memories of my Grandad. He died in 2006. When I come across memories as tangible as these, I try to hang on to them. Turns out I blog about them, too.


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