Thursday, April 18, 2013

Of Beards and Dolphins

So when the satellite died we lost all our dvr'd movies. Am I sad? I don't know. I guess that depends on whether you think anything matters. Probably not. I lost SOME KIND OF A NUT, which had repressive desublimation written all over it. It's about Dick van Dyke REFUSING TO SHAVE HIS BEARD! It starts from a bee's point of view, sloppily... I mean, it's sometimes the bee's point of view, sometimes almost the bee's point of view, sometimes not at all the bee's point of view, but you get the distinct and troubling impression that the director THINKS he's in the bee's point of view. That's as far as I got. And now Dick van Dyke and his controversial beard are gone! Gone forever! I wanted to watch THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN, to see if it matched up with my childhood memories. I recall being in a hotel, the first hotel I ever encountered that was running recent theatrical releases on a special channel, and they just showed THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN over and over. MOVIE CHANNELS WERE A MIND-BLOWING NOVELTY, Y'ALL. Now they're just dirt to us. As I recall, I didn't want to go outside, wherever we were on vacation. I just wanted to sit in the room and watch THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN as many times as possible, and I think I did. It's a talking dolphin movie from screenwriter Buck Henry and director Mike Nichols, that's right, the team behind THE GRADUATE, natch! Of course, I didn't know that at the time. I just knew my eyes were secretly welling up with tears when the dolphin, whose name, I think, was "Pha," said to George C. Scott: "Pha LOVE Pa!" The dolphin called George C. Scott "Pa" because George C. Scott had taught him to talk! So George C. Scott was the dolphin's father figure! I guess! Well, anyway, it's erased, zapped, along with 60 other movies. And I never got around to it. And really, who cares? Ward McCarthy also has fond memories of THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN and mentioned he might try showing it to his kids. I had to remind him that - spoiler alert! - something horrible happens to the dolphins at the end, I am almost certain. As Dr. Theresa would say, and often does, "That's the 1970s for ya!"