the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Message for Dinah, the French Movie Lover

There are many obstacles to a romantic relationship being a success.  There can be differences in personality, religion, attitude towards family, work ethic, etc.  Any of these can cause a couple to split up.  Yet there is one obstacle that can break up even the most loving of couples.  Yes, I’m talking about liking different types of movies.

I remember once bringing a date to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” on DVD.  She had never seen the movie, which seemed unbelievable to me!  I couldn’t believe my luck.  Not only would I introduce her to this heart-warming classic, but I would surely get lucky after that!

What happened?  Let’s just say I had as much luck as George Bailey getting out of Bedford Falls.  She hated the movie and called it “corny.”  How could I like such a cold-hearted woman?

I bring this up because yesterday, I discovered YMDB (note 12/06: now defunct).   This isn’t, the best movie resource around.  This is “Your Movie Database.”  Basically, you create a list of your favorite twenty movies and then can see links to other users whose movie lists are statistically similar to yours.  You can even find others who picked the same #1 favorite movie as you.

I do not know anything else about you, Dinah, but you and I are the only ones to pick this somewhat obscure French film as our favorite movie.  Let’s get married. 


  1. Richard

    One of the problems with concepts like the YMDB is that you really need two lists: my list of “Favorite” films (which always starts with ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN) bears no resemblance to my list of “Best” films ever made (which starts with TOKYO STORY, SUNRISE, OR CHILDREN OF PARADISE, depending on the phases of the moon).

    I’ve never seen THE GREEN RAY (I assume it’s a French adaptation of the Green Lantern comic book; what else COULD it be?), but I’ve always filed LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP under “mammoth but minor.” It’s basically a long (long!) propaganda film, with memorable performances by Livesey and Walbrook, but I’ve never felt the urge to watch it a second time. For WWII-era Michael Powell movies, I much prefer A CANTERBURY TALE and THE 49TH PARALLEL.

    And for you and Dinah to hook up, Neal, you’re going to have to brush up your Mizoguchi and hone your Ozu.

  2. Richard

    And one of these days I might even remember your name is Neil.

  3. Neil

    Good point about needing two lists for favorites and best. I looked over my list again, and I’d probably change some things. If I were really going to be total honest about favorites, I should include the original “Planet of the Apes.”

    Movies are subjective, and a lot depends on how old you were when you saw something, etc. I have a special attachment to “Le Rayon Vert” (called “Summer” when I saw it) because I saw it by myself at some small theater and never saw a movie about such a cranky young woman before — it really blew me away. I guess I also liked the fact that I didn’t know anyone else who saw the movie, so I made it “my own.” If all of a sudden, this was everyone’s favorite movie, on par with something like “The Godfather,” I wonder if I would still like it as much. I remember years ago discovering the music of Prince (or at least I thought I discovered him). Then when everyone else listened to him, I lost interest. So, I’m basically telling you not to watch it or like it.

    Oh, and by the way, you’re totally wrong about “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.”

  4. Christy

    I’m a little late to the party, but I was trying to figure you out by going thru the archives. I saw this and searched YMDB and found this:
    Maybe this is your old site?

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