Posted February 13, 2012 by Ed Goldberg
My name is Ed Goldberg, weekend on-air host at All Classical Portland. I am pleased to announce that we will be beginning a weekly downloadable program of movie reviews we call 4 on the Aisle. I have been reviewing films for almost 20 years here in Portland. All Classical has generously offered to host these podcasts linked to the main website at allclassical.org. They will appear on Fridays, and you may download them at any time.
My three colleagues are: D.K. Holm, the dean of movie critics here in Portland; Kimberly Gadette, whose reviews have been widely disseminated on various websites; and, Becky Ohlsen, who is a travel writer as well as a reviewer. She may be away on assignment from time to time.
The program will be a round-robin panel discussion focusing on current film fare, and covering both the cineplex and the art house. Our panel will represent a diversity of opinion and cultural points of view. In addition to the program, we will all contribute to an online blog about movies, also linked to the KQAC website.
Mr. Holm and I have worked together for some 10 years on another Portland station. We are both happy to be with All Classical KQAC.
I don’t remember the first movie I ever saw, but they told me it was Bambi. I was probably 3 or 4 years old. My mother told me I cried bitterly when (Spoiler Alert!) Bambi’s mother gets killed. Even the saccharine cuteness of Thumper and Flower couldn’t mitigate that trauma.
But, the first movie I really remember was King Kong, in one of its revivals. I was 8 years old and my mom took me to that one as well. The movie was important to me in many ways. It gave me an early idea of the anti-hero, the villain with reasons why. It had dinosaurs, a big part of my life back then. It was one of the best variations on the beauty-and-the-beast story, and remains so. It made me a life-long movie fan. And, it was my first horror film, a genre I love to excess.
When people ask me, how can you watch that scary stuff?, I tell them that nothing, not Frankenstein’s monster, not the lumbering, relentless Jason in his hockey mask, not the alien bursting out of a man’s chest, is as horrifying as the (Spoiler Alert!) death of Bambi’s mother was to me. It’s all relative, yes?
I went to the movies religiously after that. This was the 50s, classic westerns, science fiction, Broadway musicals, screwball comedies. The final changes, the idea that film could be more than entertainment, came first with the Marx Brothers, a refinement on slapstick comedy with a brainy edge, and a platform for the assault on propriety that has become my life’s organizing principle. Harpo, Chico, and the divine Groucho, my holy trinity.
Then, there was Marlon Brando. I first saw him in The Wild One, a 1953 potboiler about a motorcycle gang that takes over a small town. Brando plays Johnny, self-centered, dishonest, brutal, a classic anti-hero. I developed an obsessive boy-crush on him. (Thank you, Kong!) I saw all of his films, even Desiree and Julius Caesar. I adored him.
Finally, there came my film-going orgy the year I was 19. Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, film noir revivals, classic silents, likeThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Gold Rush. The beginning of American independent film, and experimental movies. Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, the Kuchars.
The shambling wreck you see before you today is at least in part the result of too many hours in dark auditoriums in the company of strangers, absorbing the work of John Waters, Jacques Tati and Stanley Kubrick. No, movies are not my life, but they sure are a bunch of it.
And, if you ever hear or read anything from me like this sentence from a recent New York Times review: “[the director has an] uncompromising, atavistic commitment to darkness, difficulty and lapidary pictorial sublimity,” you have my permission to hit me in the face with a custard pie.