Welcome to Widescreen

Welcome to Widescreen

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 22:44
Guest blogger: Mark Stallings here ... Sitting in for Sean Stangland today

My two earliest memories are almost like a blueprint for my entire life.

In my mind, life began in 1981 at the Twin Drive-In in Wheeling, where my parents took their 2-year-old son for what would be the first of many viewings of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I vividly remember watching the nefarious Nazis' faces melting through the windshield of the maroon Plymouth Duster that would serve us well until the floods of 1987. To this day, whenever I think of "Raiders" (which is often lately, given what comes to theaters May 22), I think of Toht's glasses dropping to the ground as his face drips away.

My earliest memory: Watching faces
melt in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

The next stop on my personal timeline is one year later, when Mom took me to see "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial." Early in the film, Elliot searches his backyard for whatever threw that baseball back at him from the shed, and he comes across a squatty alien, screaming in a decidedly otherworldly voice. I bolted from my seat at the Des Plaines Theater into the lobby; when I calmed down, we went back in and I, of course, loved the rest of the movie. Who didn't? We went back a second time that summer. Mom watched through the lobby doors until the offending scream had passed, then we went in.

Many of my most vivid memories revolve around the movies. I remember driving to my father's drug store on Talcott, always passing the Nelson Funeral Home in Park Ridge that the Blues Brothers also passed early in their movie. I remember waiting on a curb in South Barrington with my sister for six hours to buy first-show tickets for "The Phantom Menace" in 1999. I remember my father's giddy laughter at Woodfield 1&2 as Capt. Steven Hiller flew his craft away from the mothership in "Independence Day." More recently, I cherished watching "Ratatouille" at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, holding hands with my lovely girlfriend.

I'm Sean Stangland. With this blog, I hope to share my love for movies and pop culture with you, and foster discussion about it. Though many dismiss movies, TV, music and video games as simple entertainment, many of us know better -- these are part of the common experiences that bring us together. We all have "that song." We all have that show the whole family gathered around every week.

But don't worry. This isn't going to be a drooling fanboy blog -- AICN does that just fine.

And we all have been shocked by something a famous person has done (and more and more often, these days). But don't worry. This isn't going to be one of those pop culture blogs that hates everything, or pokes fun at everything -- Jeffrey Wells and WWTDD do that just fine.

So do you have any memories like mine? Let's hear 'em.

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