12 March 2013

Intro - the whys and hows

Ruby Jand’s Movie Blog
The whys and hows

                      “C’mon, kids, we’re going to the show.”
                      In the 1950’s when I was a little kid, these were the words I waited for and every time I heard them I got excited.
                      Translated from Northern Minnesota English (or maybe Jand family English, who knows?) it means, “We’re going to take the car and drive half an hour into our little town on the Canadian border to one of the two movie theaters, the Grand or the Border, to see a movie.”
                      I loved movies. All movies. All movies. Every movie I saw was the best show I had ever seen. Even things like Libel (1959) which is so not a kid film and I couldn’t possibly have understood it. Ditto Twelve Angry Men (1957).  And David and Bathsheba (1951 – it must have taken its time getting to our theater). Of course I really loved kids’ classics like Old Yeller (1957), Toby Tyler (1960), Bambi (1942), Song of the South (1946) and Cindarella (1950– they really took their time getting to us but then we were in the far north), Pollyanna (1960).  But I also loved grown up movies with kids in them like Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955) and Friendly Persuasions (1956).  There wasn’t a movie that wasn’t the best show I had ever seen.
                      As I passed the age of ten and made my way through my teen years my indiscriminate consumption of any and all movies that came my way continued but I began sorting them into several sub-categories of “the best show I’ve ever seen”:
  • “made me cry so hard my parents were worried” – Shenandoah (1965)
  • “must see again immediately even if I have to go alone” – A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  • “really truly changed my life” (and this is a milestone!) –Dr. Zhivago (1965). And it did. I date my involvement in the peace movement from the moment I walked out of the movie theater after seeing it with a hazily remembered boyfriend. Another example – To Sir with Love (1967). It took awhile but To Sir with Love was part of what inspired me to become a teacher.

It might have been after seeing Fahrenheit 451 (1967) the first time, or it might have been earlier, that I started having the Impossible Dream – just think if I could own my favorite movies and watch them at home whenever and however often I wanted…
Thank you, thank you, thank you, all you technical people who invented the things necessary to do this!  The DVD is the best invention ever (I’m old-fashioned – I don’t know how to download and besides it’s like with books, I want to hold them in my hands).
I’m not the most extreme movie freak. I only watch two or three movies a week, almost always on the weekend with my patient and tolerant Hal who, while also enjoying movies, would not watch nearly as many as I do if it was up to him. But for me, watching movies is a social thing, something to do together. And it’s fun to discuss them.
So we come to another great invention – the blog. I’ve been doing my Shakespeare blog http://rubyjandshakespearecalling.blogspot.com/ for over a year now and the thought has been growing.  Why not a movie blog?
Why not indeed?
And here it is. Ruby Jand’s Movie Blog. It’s going to be less literary and analytical than Shakespeare Calling. It will more spontaneous. It will be a mixture of good and bad. I will write only about movies we own or see in the movie theater (three or four movies a year), not ones seen on TV. I’ll write about them as I see them but I’ll also list them alphabetically. I’ll have a lot of lists on the side to cover various things missed in the reviews. Usually I will rate them but in a totally random, like-or-don’t-like and inconsistent unscientific way.
I started reviewing at a random moment last summer and the first movie I wrote about was Equilibrium, seen on August 18, 2012. Since then I have found myself in a sci fi and doomsday period so for awhile they will dominate the blog along with Shakespeare movies.  We’ve just done our Hamlet marathon so watch out, about 15 Hamlet or Hamlet related movies are in the wings!
At this moment we own over 600 DVDs and somehow that number seems to keep increasing so it will take awhile to get through them all.
Many favorites won’t show up for awhile because we’ve watched them recently but before I started writing. I’ll make a list.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of having a blog is having blog followers and getting comments from same, and from total strangers somewhere on the planet. I very much hope that you who see this blog won’t be shy.  You are more than welcome to become a follower and comment on my reviews. Discussions, debates, disagreements (“How could you trash this masterpiece???” alternatively “How could you give ten stars to this turkey????”) – do it!
I’m ready, all you movie lovers out there. Let’s go to the show!

December 2012 - March 2013 


  1. Yes, Ruby did it again: another awesome blog that must be followed (and perhaps contributed to now and then).

    I can't say I'm a movie buff; I don't know how many DVDs there are in my collection (do we count documentaries? Concerts? Opera?), but at least three times fewer than 600. As with books and music, my movie tastes are greatly limited to certain genres/actors/actresses. Nevertheless, movies have always been an essential part of my personal quest for entertainment and enlightenment.

    It's good that you don't know how to download. Because it's illegal. I do it, but please don't tell the police.

    "Discussions, debates, disagreements" ought to be fun.

    PS It's great that this blog will apparently feature reviews of Shakespeare movies. Books turned into movies are terribly fascinating curiosities - especially plays - especially Shakespeare.

    1. Thank you for the enthusiasm! I'm looking forward to our coming discussions. And don't worry, your secret is safe with me.
      Hmmm, documentaries, operas, concerts, no I haven't counted them but several will in fact show up here eventually so maybe they should be counted. Luckily for me I don't have many rules on the blog and I'll probably break the ones I do have.
      As of today 5 Shakespeare movies have been posted. More to come!