To start off, can I just say that I’m super excited to be this month’s “meet the TFS writer”? I feel like Sally Field winning her Oscar (read: “you like me, right now, you like me!”). And while we are talking about the Oscars, I should probably tell you that I am obsessed with them. I know it is all Hollywood politics, but I can’t help but love the glamour and the excitement. I never complain about the length, the boring awards, or the wrong film winning. I just love it all. For the past six or so years, I’ve watched the Oscars at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. It is so much fun watching the festivities on a big screen, with a theatre full of other Oscar fanatics. It is one of my favourite nights of the year.
Looking back, I don’t really remember a specific movie that sparked my love for film. I think it’s just always been there. However, my parents do tell me I watched Mary Poppins on a loop for quite some time as a toddler. Being the precocious kid that I was, I watched as many movies as possible. When I was about 12, I started recording every movie in a journal. I did it by month so I could keep track of how many movies I saw, and then try to beat that number the following month. I wrote mini-reviews, and gave each film a star rating. And thus, the marriage between my love for movies and my love for writing came to be. The first full review I wrote was in grade eight. I fondly remember ripping Jeepers Creepers a new one. You can ask my mom, she still has a copy of it somewhere. I’ve had many an encourager along the way. From my dad showing me One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when I was about nine (I know, way inappropriate, but I’m better for it), to a high school teacher introducing me to the critiques of Pauline Kael.
For a gal of 23, I have some interesting obsessions. Namely, Bette Midler. I can hear my friends and family laughing as they read this and saying, “is she really talking about Bette Midler right now?” I can’t tell you where this love began. I’ve loved her for as long as I can remember. She has always done what she wants, regardless of what anyone else thought about it at the time. She’s fearless and I respect that. She has more gusto in her pinky finger than most people will have in their entire lifetime. Also, her Twitter feed is hilarious. While we’re on that topic, so is Cher’s. Do yourself a favour and follow them for your daily dose of crazy.
My other odd obsessions feature Judy Garland (and consequently, Rufus Wainwright singing Judy Garland), the Golden Girls, Carole King, daytime talk shows, Dorothy Parker, good soup, Meryl Streep, game shows, and Gene Kelly. Basically what I’m getting at is that I’m an 80-year-old woman on the inside. I’m not even going to pretend like I don’t love Calendar Girls and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
That being said, I’m also a big kid at heart. If it was socially acceptable, I would still go trick-or-treating. I love cartoons. With the invention of Netflix, I’ve become transfixed with watching Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, and Doug. I see most animated movies that are released, with or without an accompanying child. Animation is limitless, and that’s what I love about it. The highlight of my summer is always the latest Pixar offering (as disappointing as they’ve been as of late). If you ask me, looking at the world through the eyes of a kid once in awhile would be beneficial to just about everyone.
I wear a lot of different hats when it comes to my cultural references. I can talk forever on the heartbreaking beauty of Bicycle Thieves, but I’ve proudly seen every episode of every Real Housewives franchise. I’ve even been known to go to their book signings and events, as in my cousin and I are on a deeply personal mission to meet each and every real housewife. In other words, I’m a little highbrow, and a lot lowbrow.
If I could, I’d live in a Wes Anderson movie. Say what you will about him, but I have so much fun watching his films. I wish my life was drenched in his colour scheme. I wish I owned old suitcases and typewriters. And I wish French pop music followed me everywhere. Maybe I’ll just aspire to own a Wes Anderson-themed cafe when I grow up.
In other news, I love polka dots, I have a friendly black cat named Truman, and I could eat pickles everyday.
If I’ve learned nothing else from High Fidelity, it’s that a lot can be summed up in a top 5 list. So, anything I’ve forgotten to mention can be explained with my must-see films (in no particular order, mind you).
Danita’s Must-See Films
1. The Exorcist – I love horror films, and this is the definitive one. Terrifying, atmospheric, and great performances.
2. When Harry Met Sally – This movie is like a hug. And anything written by Nora Ephron is a-okay in my books.
3. Annie Hall – When I think of a writer that inspires me, it is Woody Allen. And Annie Hall is Woody Allen at his very best.
4. Harold and Maude - Hal Ashby is one of the most underrated directors ever.
5. Bicycle Thieves – I’m in awe of this one. It taught me that beautiful art can come from the smallest inspiration, and the saddest moments.
Latest posts by Danita Steinberg (see all)
- Inside Out Review: Two: The Story of Roman and Nyro – May 25, 2013
- Inside Out Review: Before You Know It – May 24, 2013
- Media Impact: Out in Hollywood – May 22, 2013