November 9, 2013: Matinee at the Bijou


As I enjoy my Saturday at home; cooking and buzzing about the house, I am reminded of these carefree days as a teenager. With my teenage jobs in the food service and childcare fields, my days were typically open with only Saturday nights dedicated to work.

The sweet memories of these early 80's afternoons off are filled with my working on creative projects and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. My mom was a home economics major and it showed on our daily lives. I got my creative genes from her. As I started a new adventure in the living room or kitchen, Mom could typically be found in either her sewing room or stripping furniture in the garage.

With Mom occupied, Dad at work, and my brothers; anywhere but home, I had the house to myself. There was always the warm buzz of the TV in the background. My Saturday television favorite was Matinee at the Bijou. 80's Matinee at the Bijou YouTube clip. I fondly remember teaching myself how to make cream puffs in the kitchen with Shirley Temple tap-dancing on the tube. I loved this era of black and white filmography.

I would enjoy the Little Rascals during the weekdays and would then move my focus to Charlie Chaplin classics and Fred Astaire dance parties at the Bijou. From the dancing flappers to the elegance of Grace Kelly, I felt right at home with the parade of stars waiting for me on my beloved weekly Matinee.

With Betty Crocker and Joy of Cooking by my side, I would wander back and forth from the kitchen to my lastest art or sewing project. But the Matinee would always be the constant. The silent shows would require more of my attention and the musicals; a touch higher level on the volume.

As a grown-up, I still find myself drawn to this era. When the silent movie, The Artist, came out in 2012, I was in instant love. I have always found Charle Chaplin quite attractive. Based on his biographies, so did most women. He was purportedly quite the ladies-man. But I don't think many women of my age would list him on their celebrity "hottie" list. They are obviously watching the wrong movies.

Another movie that caught my attention was my accidental viewing of Woody Allen's 2011 hit "Midnight in Paris". I am typically not a Woody Allen fan, but chose to watch this movie as a commitment to watch every movie up for Best Movie Oscar that year. I hadn't a clue what it was about, but loved it and found the story line to be my fantasy.

The main actor, Owen Wilson, found himself mysteriously going back to the 20's every night after midnight. He befriended Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and revels in this era that he feels is his own. I so wanted to be Owen Wilson, picked up by that mysterious 1920 Peugeot car every night at midnight and later sharing life with Earnest Hemingway. 

So here I sit living life in 2013, not 1920. But it's all good. That's what movies are for; to pull us into the fanciful eras of the past and the future. Whatever your potion, there is some great flicks out there to fulfill. And there are other eras I love too. Today being the top of the list. Fantasy, past and future, is what you of make it today. Life is is always on the today clock. But with dreaming, everything is fair game.  

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