I Can’t Believe I Did It

And I will remain cryptic. But it is done. What will be, will be, as Doris Day sang in, what was that film again? Ah yes, The Man Who Knew Too Much, an incongruously happy song for a sinister film, though it was meant for a child to hear it and be rescued.

I really must watch more Alfred Hitchcock films, though I think the one time I watched The Birds I was too young and it scared me greatly. We studied Psycho at school and I remember watching Rear Window one night when I was looking after my much younger siblings and my parents were out. I was about 16 or 17 and they were nine and seven, or thereabouts. I certainly had no qualms about the suspenseful side of his films, even the shocking murder scenes, but the birds were all too much.

In reality I’m not much of a film goer any more. Years of being a sole-parent put paid to my heading off to see the latest film and I’d barely begin the habit before I had her. Benalla, although it still had a cinema when I lived there, wasn’t known for its high culture. I saw Star Wars: A New Hope there and Xanadu too. I remember saying I was going to see a film there but sneaking off to my boyfriend’s place instead, I can’t remember the name of the film but I think my parents were unconvinced. It may have been the smell of the marijuana that he was smoking in his room and that clung to my clothes and hair that was my undoing on that one.

A few years later, after we had broken up (well, my father basically told him to leave me alone) and then, through circumstance and sentimentality, reunited, we went to see Dead Poets Society at the Village Cinema in Melbourne. We debated the film heatedly afterward. He believed the teacher was wrong for encouraging the young man to reach for his passion whereas I was filled with regret that his parents could not see passed their own ambitions for him and blamed them, more than his teacher, for the young man’s suicide.

We analysed and recreated and reimagined scenes from this film. We were captivated. It remains, for all it’s faults, one of my favourite films, if for nothing else other than the passion it stirred in us both, we talked for hours about it. We stayed awake until dawn. I often wonder where he is and what he is doing now. We didn’t break up so beatifically the second time around.

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