A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.Stanley Kubrick
Edward William Polley (Ed) is an up and coming writer in the early stages of his career. Currently the only work of his available to the public is his ebook Raggwood, which not only celebrates his love of genre tropes and imagery but also explores the fabric of what it is to be a human in a society through stark, lyrical prose. He’s also the cohost of the lofi podcast, Are You Still Afraid of the Dark?, in which he and his sister Rachel watch episodes of the Nickelodeon classic “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and discuss them at nauseam for their own amusement
First memory of going to the theater – I can’t remember my first theater experience, but the first theater experience I remember was my father taking me to see Toy Story when we were on a trip and I was very young. I vividly remember the poster on the wall outside theater and the grandeur of the screen within. As for the film, I can immediately recall the horror and the existential anxiety I experienced. I was utterly appalled by Woody’s desperate jealousy which led him to an intentional act of man slaughter. I was crushed by the films theme of being forgotten and replaced by the ones we love most, by the inevitability of abandonment, and by the character Sid, who is at one moment a cruel and indifferent overlord and is the next a frightened child, punished and traumatized for the crimes he wasn’t even aware he was committing.
Since then, the cinema has been my church, the quiet place I go to contemplate the emotions, the imaginations and the struggles of others. For me, it has always been a place of empathy, humanity and awe.
Films (As a kid) – Indiana Jones (trilogy), Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), The Phantom (1996), The Iron Giant (1989), Harvey (1950), King Kong (1933), The Wolfman (1941), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (trilogy), Godzilla vs The Cosmic Monster (1974), Ghostbusters (1984), The Fly (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), The Blues Brothers (1980), Star Wars (original trilogy)
Films (Now – Each pick is representative of my favorite directors of today) – Hellboy (2004), The Fisher King (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), Birdman (2014), The Thing (1982) & Big Trouble in Little China (1986) (two genre game-changers that remain under respected), Under The Skin (2013) (recently added to my list)
Classic Films – Frankenstein (1931) & The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), City Lights (1931), Le Belle et la Bette (1946), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) & The Curse of the Cat People (1944) (three excellent films on what it feels like to be a kid), Unfaithfully Yours (1948), This Land is Mine (1943) (recently added to my list)
Classic Directors – Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Val Lewton (not a director, but an auteur all the same). And I’m just now getting into Luis Bunuel and early David Lean
Classic Leading Men – Boris Karloff, Orson Welles, Takashi Shimura, Charles Laughton, Charles Bronson, (and of course the three kings)- Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant (the greatest movie star of all time)
Classic Leading Ladies – Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Gene Tierney, Barbara Stanwyck, Barbara Shelley, Katherine Hepburn, Maureen O’Hara (haven’t seen many of her films, but I absolutely love her in the ones I’ve seen)