New York

So, I am in NYC for a few days and taking in the sights and sounds and smells of the city and thought it was worth posting some thoughts to the blog even though I don’t have my laptop with me. We’re going iPhone style!
I have been thinking to myself what a Mecca this city is for the film industry. I think of the movies I watched growing up that were, at least in part, filmed here. Everything from “King Kong” to “Big”, “Ghostbusters”, “Spiderman” and many many others, there is such an iconic feel in this city that you can’t get anywhere else.
This post is short and sweet, but I had to do it. Let me know what your favorite movie is based in NYC.

Until next time.

-David B. Harrington

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The Top 10 List

There are a set of commonly asked questions a person will pose when getting to know an individual. A desire to know where an individual grew up, and what their favorite food and color are, are typically asked to gain insight. Another commonly asked question is, “What is your favorite movie?”. Why ask? It is my opinion that just as the background of what geographical location we grew up in tells something about us, so does stating what our favorite movie is. It goes way beyond moving images on a screen. The films we watch tell a lot about who we are. It exposes some of our deepest aspirations and fears. Through the medium of film we can explore other cultures and ideas, by opening our minds to the purpose and journey of the given filmmaker. Sometimes we sit down and watch a movie to escape reality, to go to our happy place. Some of the stories we watch unravel allow us to escape the confines of what is possible, to explore what is seemingly impossible. What little kid hasn’t dreamt of being a superhero or traveling to a far off place? And for conversations sake, what adult hasn’t? That is the magic of the movies. Sometimes the magic is less fantasy and more reality in the sense that we see real issues being examined that we have come into contact with in our lives, and we see that other people have experienced what we have experienced, that we are not alone.

As a dedicated collector and viewer of films, I have come to hold closely to my heart, some films that have spoken to me in so many different ways. These films have indeed allowed me to explore my truest aspirations and my deepest of fears, and to sometimes ask the question “What if…?”. So, as is customary, here is my top ten list.

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas

9. Psycho

8. The Breakfast Club

7. The Dark Knight

6. To Kill a Mockingbird

5. Star Wars

4. The Goonies

3. The Shining

2. Jurassic Park

1. The Shawshank Redemption

Well, there you have it. My top ten list. And just because I know some people are curious to know which ones just missed the mark, but are still among my favorite films of all-time, here is “The Next 10”.

1. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

2. Back to the Future

3. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

4. The Green Mile

5. The Last Samurai

6. The Matrix

7. Wall-E

8. 12 Angry Men

9. Inception

10. Dances with Wolves

I would love to know what your top ten lists are as well! So go ahead and post them in the comments section!

-David B. Harrington

Profile of a Film Junkie

How do you sum up a lifetime love of film? Simply put, you don’t. However, this is my attempt to publish a few words on a semi-regular basis about my feelings for what has indeed been a lifetime infatuation. I wasn’t the kid who grew up and surrounded himself with people, pushing for as much time as I could have in the spotlight. Nope, that wasn’t me. My happy place was in front of the glow of a television screen or in a movie theater. Soda and candy weren’t necessary. All I needed were the moving images and sounds on screen to hold me captive for a couple hours, or longer if I were lucky. I would scrounge together as much money as I could and go on movie-hunting trips. My younger brother and I, who shared our love for film would go to the local movie store and shuffle through the seemingly endless selection of what could be our next big purchase. We would show off our findings to one another, and go home to place our purchases on old dusty bookshelves. Late into the night, we would enjoy watching films. My alarm clock would be set for 3:00AM so that I could go to my Dad’s office in the basement where we had cable television and a VCR so that I could record the classic Disney film of the night, featured in the “Vault Disney” line of programming that used to be aired on the Disney Channel. Ya, those were the good old days.

In a moment of honesty, I should note that not much has changed. I talk about this as if it were something I used to do. My wife can certainly attest to my continued love for the art form of film and the collection that graces the bookshelves in our room.

What is it about film that I am so enamored with? I think its a mix of nostalgia, good storytelling, and pure wonder at how these magician filmmakers do what they do. I think it is human nature to be drawn to something that seems magical, that accomplishes something that holds us tightly in that feeling of astonishment and curiosity.

My taste has always been wide, and over time I have explored more and more within the world of film. I grew up on classic Disney films, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, and Frank Darabont. In more recent years I have come to appreciate the work of Clint Eastwood, the Coen Brothers, and Christopher Nolan. Of course that doesn’t even begin to do justice to the list I could create.

In companionship with my love for film, I have held great interest in television and literature. I have spent countless hours obsessing over the work of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone”, and reading over and over again, the words of Harper Lee’s literary masterpiece, “To Kill a Mockingbird“.

My hope here is to shed some light on my thoughts on film, television, literature, and other things that I have an interest in, and to draw in good conversation about the topic at hand. This really is essentially “The World According to David B. Harrington”. I invite all comments that you as the reader have, and hope that you will feel that you can share openly and honestly, because to me that is part of the magic of the arts, the freedom of expression.

-David B. Harrington