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Overall, the only thing that I found a little uncomfortable were some of the questions about a few of the racier jokes in the film. Thankfully, Brooks handles things with enough discretion that I was able to explain things without lying but without having to have an explicit conversation with the boys about sex. When they asked me why Madeline Kahn was singing and the monster was making yummy sounds, I told them that Frankenstein could kiss really well, and they seemed to accept that. Toshi recently announced that he knew what sex was, and as we both struggled not to drop dead of heart failure, he explained that it's when two people "kiss for a long time." So he got that "Young Frankenstein" had some sex jokes, but he didn't get the mechanics of it, and that's fine.
It was so much fun that I felt bad when it was time for them to go to bed. I didn't want the Festival to end, and neither did they. And while all of this was just me playing with them, having fun, giving them a taste of something that they know is part of my work life, it did start me thinking. This was fun, but what would be even more fun would be to throw a real film festival. One where we can invite other families who are sharing film as part of the daily conversation between parents and kids to come out to a theater with us to share some great and important movies. Maybe this is a real goal to work towards, because I feel like sharing these experiences is important, and there is nothing more communal than the time we share in the dark watching great films.
On Sunday, I asked the boys to vote for their awards for the festival, and they deliberated until they could agree on every category. To that end, I give you the final list of the winners.
THE FILM NERD 2.0 SPRING BREAK FILM FESTIVAL 2013
"Empire Of The Sun"
Indiana Jones, himself
The little girl, "Beetlejuice"
Best Supporting Actor
Igor, "Young Frankenstein"
Best Supporting Actress
Josephine Hull, "Harvey"
"Day-O," as performed in "Beetlejuice"
"Beneath The Planet Of The Apes"
Best Thing That Happened
Igor's singing head, "Young Frankenstein"
And as a final footnote to the weekend and the "Young Frankenstein" screening in particular, Toshi's really been bitten by the Mel Brooks bug now. He's been asking to see another one since the night of "Young Frankenstein," and I've been thinking about it. On a recent Friday night, I decided to go ahead a give "Silent Movie" a try.
Can you tell me why I turned it off? Without looking ahead, can you guess what joke had me reach forward and shut the movie off without any further warning?
There's a running gag in the film where Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise end up tangled together and the same old ladies repeatedly walk past, sour looks on their faces, unmistakably exclaiming the word that came up all by itself on the next title card so that Toshi could read it out loud to his brother, not once but twice.
Ouch. I was so proud last week about a conversation the two of us had when Toshi asked me about gay marriage, because it was obvious that Toshi's world view right now doesn't have any ingrained hatred, and now I was going to have to explain that word to them. We had a conversation that reminded me of the talk we had after "To Kill A Mockinbird," and I explained to him again that there are people who use words to hurt other people, and that we need to understand why we can't use those words. If I teach my sons anything, I want to teach them to be responsible for what they say and how they say it, and to be aware of the way our actions impact others, and while there will be a time they can understand the context of when something was made, I'm not ready for them to start grappling with the casual homophobia of the '70s and the '80s yet.
Overall, this was one of the best experiences we've had so far as part of the Film Nerd 2.0 series, and who knows? Maybe we'll work to make sure that the next time we do this, it's an event that all of you can participate in as well.
"Film Nerd 2.0" is a regular feature here at Motion/Captured.