How have you not seen this?!
We’ve all had this conversation, it starts off with you talking movies with someone you feel is just as obsessed as you. It’s a special type of conversation that you’re lucky to have because they’re so few and far between. But during this conversation, you find out they haven’t seen a movie that you feel is universal. A film not even for the film-obsessed, just a film you feel everyone has seen. Back to The Future, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and Pulp Fiction comes to mind. Well friends! I had such a conversation.
It a day before Moody Tower’s foodservice closed, I was with our good friend Patrick Grady along with my friends John and Raul. We started eating and of course, being movie-obsessed, we started talking shop about film. We went into Tarkovsky, Kubrick, Melville, Kubrick, Bergman and finally Kurosawa which led us to Martin Scorsese’s role in Kurosawa’s Dreams. Eventually, that led us to discuss one of the quintessential mob movie Goodfellas. I asked Patrick and John what they thought of the film and they replied, “Never seen it”. I remember the utter confusion on Raul’s face when he heard those words, the shock and almost terror in his eyes, I’m positive mine was similar. In my eyes, Goodfellas is just one of those movies everyone has to watch, that you can talk about with anyone, that isn’t just a masterpiece but an absolutely accessible and holy immortalized film. I was definitely going through a crisis, that being said I couldn’t be more excited. It felt like a once in a lifetime experience, imagine showing a couple of movie buffs something seen as universal for the first time. People who have seen hundreds if not thousands of films and you get to see them experience a movie with unparalleled influence.
So we watched it, two days ago in fact over a Netflix Party feature. I watched it with four close friends and of those four three have never seen it, so now I’m in the minority.
“As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a Gangster”
As soon as they heard this line, I knew, just by looking at them, I knew they were hooked. This is one of my favorite parts about film, giving someone the experience of true cinema. I always have this thought of showing nephews or hell even my own kids if I ever want or have them, gems like these that stand the test of time. Being able to experience the delight in their eyes as they watch some of the greatest works of art, allowing them to experience what made me love film in the first place. I’m so glad I get to experience that now with some of my closest friends, watch them experience “What the [REDACTED] is so funny about me huh?! Tell me!”. Hearing their amazement when you tell them that scene was improvised. Or watching their horror when witnessing Henry’s downward spiral to cocaine addiction or Tommy making a bartender dance and shooting him in the foot showing no remorse. Seeing their eyes transfixed at the masterful steadicam shot through the lavish club.
I’m thrilled I get to give some of my closest friends that experience. Hear them rave about it despite it being 1:30 in the morning. It taught me that treating it negatively, saying “How the hell have you not seen it?” or “You’re joking” is what turns me off from this industry in the first place. Even experts have some holes in their knowledge, and being belittled can turn off from a great experience.
So negative phrases should be replaced with a simple “So when are we watching this thing?”.
It was great to relive such an amazing work of art, and I’m even more excited because guess what I found out? Not one of these friends I saw this movie with has seen The Godfather and words cannot express how eager I am to have them watch it.