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Million Dollar Movie


Clyde Haberman talks to the Film Forum’s directory of repertory, Bruce Goldstein:

“ ‘Million Dollar Movie’ was VHS before there was VHS,” Mr. Goldstein said.

That childhood experience led him, with Ms. Cooper, to create Film Forum Jr., an attempt to acquaint today’s children — generally, age 5 and up — with the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton and great musicals like “Singin’ in the Rain.” His own first movie, at 5, was “Pal Joey,” in 1957. “I didn’t know how sexy it was till years later,” he said.

“You can’t talk down to kids,” he said. “Kids have taste.” On Mother’s Day, he screened Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 version of “The Man Who Knew Too Much, which involves an assassination plot and a boy’s kidnapping.

“Someone said, ‘That’s not for kids, it’s too scary,’ ” Mr. Goldstein recalled. “I said: ‘Yeah, it’s scary. But it’s not as scary as ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’ The Disney movies are really scary.” So he showed the Hitchcock film and “the kids loved it.”

For Mr. Goldstein, nothing compares to watching a movie with others around.

“You focus on the film,” he said. “You don’t focus at home or on your iPhone. Second, you get the benefit of the other audience members picking up on things you might not have noticed.” While it is not a phrase he likes, he added, there is such a thing as “communal experience.”

“Some films don’t work on video at all,” he said. “Silent comedy doesn’t work on video, as far as I’m concerned. You need an audience to laugh with you and to pick up on the gags you may not notice at home because you’re distracted in 20 different directions.”

[Photo Via: Gothamist]

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