April 21, 2012

movies, lists, and Walter Matthau

I've long thought - actually more than that, I've started once or twice - a notebook of lists as a way to a shorthand biography so that my kids (who have expressed little interest) and grand-kids would have some notion of the facets of the old man who lived and one day died that they called dad and grandpop . . . A mostly doesn't need such a list, she knows enough. But I digress slightly . . . Walter Matthau would be on my list of 10 all-time actors. The idea of the lists is to list to 10 things (any and everything) that gain momentum in my life and give me pleasure (which includes learning, smiling, understanding finally, etc.). 10 is not absolute. Some of the lists would longer; some lists would be shorter (my number of pets, sisters, cities lived in are all controlled by something outside of my fanciful musings. Mentioning cities makes me state, without much equivocation, that my birth city, San Francisco, is #1 on my list of cities - among other things, it is where I saw and worshiped the performances of Andrés Segovia and of Julian Bream (and it is across the Bay from the lovely Berkeley where I first met and wed A (actually the wedding happened in Reno, but that is beside the point really). But I digress (my whole life is a sort of digression - I had early plans that I haven't fully returned to yet). My favorite digresser (as I use the word) may have been Aliana - I haven't yet started a list of digressing champions. But back to Walter Matthau. He would be on my list of 10 all-time actors. If this list is about my favorites, he's gotta be on it; if this list is about accomplished, he's gotta be on it. A. and I just watched
The Taking of Pelham 123 starring Walter and knew as we watched that we had seen the movie before but continued watching it because we were enjoying it. Turns out that we probably (as you gain birthday candles, always equivocate a little when you're claiming something about your memory) have not seen it before - we probably only saw the remake - which was a good movie. And, anyway, this is not a list of my 10 movies (neither of these would make the cut). Still, it was a nice watch for a Saturday afternoon lunch as an interruption to our early day working slog . . . and Walter Matthau is definitely on my list.

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