Stumbling Into Art Films

Movies I thought Might Get Me Laid or How I Accidentally Stumbled Into Art Film

By Tim Hartin, Board Member

As an Art Theater Board member, I get to write an occasional blog entry. This is my first blog ever, so if there are any rules if am violating, I plead ignorance. I hope your interweb is working for this next part:

Step 1: Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UYTLIdjSyc

Step 2: Set audio level

Step 3: Hit Play. Skip the commercial.

Step 4: Now. Close your eyes and listen.

The year was 1966. Our high school French teacher called me aside in the hallway to tell me that there was a film which she felt might interest me. It wasn’t for everybody, she said. More of an “Art Film”.

The film was “A Man and A Woman”. It was French. I heard (where? I haven’t a clue) it was the perfect date movie – the perfect date movie for getting in the mood. And it was hot.

It was the #1 HOT film of 1966. There was no #2. Look for yourself, here is a list of American Films from 1966.

Nothing out of Hollywood came close.

The film held the promise of sophisticated guiltless healthy screen sex, oh boy. Which was, of course, why I wanted to see it. After viewing the movie, my 16 year old self decided that owning the soundtrack was a must, just in case. And, just in case, I gave one to my steady girlfriend for her birthday.

That was 50 years ago. Whatever my initial reason for wanting to see the film, it turned out to be more than an awakening of hormones. It was a step into understanding that there was a world of film beyond Hollywood and Vine. The following year, at college, it was this experience that prompted me to join the Foreign Film Society. That membership opened the doors to Godard, Fellini, Truffaut, Brunel, De Sica and Milos Forman, along with American and English director such as John Cassavetes and John Schlesinger. And led, eventually, to the board of the Art.

I do not remember the name of the French teacher, or where I saw the film, but I do remember that film as the beginning of an ongoing journey that continues today. I take another step on that journey whenever I see a movie that may not be for everyone, at my very own Art Theater.


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