I have very fond memories of playing with my G.I. Joe’s and Construx on the carpet in the living room of my parent’s old New Haven home, a rug I now recall as an imagery world, that would encompass the area from under the bay window where which lived in front of me a massive 16″ Quasar cabinet television, to the large wooden coffee table some twenty feet away that guarded the couch and love seat my father would sit on, as he watched whatever TV show or films would come through on the 37 channels supplied to us by our cable provider via the tethered, piano-like Jerrold remote control that reached across the living room. While laying on my belly playing with my Joes who were knee-deep in shag carpeting, I would gaze up and watch 100′s of films that would go on to shape who I now am; seeing haunting glimpses of movies in that little tube-image, some of which I still do not now the names of.
Occasionally I’ll wake up from sleep or see something while commuting to work that will thrust be back into 16 Evergreen Court and onto that carpet, staring fixatedly at the unknown film that my father cared to watch. And then I have a new enigma to crack: to figure out years later by what I’d remember to determine what film was I actually seeing as a bystander in that living room, while my dad still thought I was only absorbed with the many battles that lay bare, just past the coffee table.
These weren’t the regular fare of movies I’d see and know and remember, stuff you recall watching from beginning to end, films you were aware of the title and stars and plots of. These instead were just snapshots of images, sequences and vignettes that I would only partly see but which would make such an impact, that they’re still with me even today. It’s taken me sometimes years, but I’ve figured out the names of such films that I were burnt into my retinas like The Boys From Brazil, Rage, Scarface, The Last Man on Earth, An American Werewolf in London, and the topper, the Granddaddy of them all, the guy who I didn’t figure out until junior year of college, William Friedkin‘s masterpiece, Sorcerer.
1977 Sorcerer film, il Lazaro truck on bridge, and a scene that for years haunted my memory until I was finally able to figure out what movie it was.
As stated in early articles here at The Podwits, my love for 1977′s Sorcerer grows every year with each viewing and I’d always dreamed it would be plucked from the fringes of movie purgatory that so many a great Hollywood film lies rotting and decaying a slow death in, and be restored to its formal glory. That finally happened last year when Friedkin announced he’d won the rights back from the studios that owned it, and at a Q&A at BAM theater that I attended, he announced he’d remaster and rerelease Sorcerer on DVD and Blu Ray so it could once again be viewed as it was intended. I was able to meet and briefly chat with Mr. Friedkin, and leaving it dawn on me: I am such a fan of the film and the original 1953 French version by legendary director Henri-Georges Clouzot, a nail-biting masterpiece entitled, Le Salaire de la Peur or The Wages of Fear, that I never tried to search out the book these films are based on and from which the 1953 movie takes its name, Georges Arnaud‘s Wages of Fear.
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