Friday, July 11, 2014

1956's Forbidden Planet had some of the best matte painting and animation work of any science fiction film from any era.

I saw this film for the first time when I was 18. It was late summer, and my friends ranged in age from my friend Amy's kid brother, Kevin (who was 12), to me (who was 21). We wanted to do a movie night at my house in Montana (what else is there to do? we had all of four movie screens in town, and no place to hang out). So we rented (!) about six VHS tapes (!!!), and Kevin wanted to see this one.

Kevin was goofy and slightly weird, and shy -- even though good looking, and skinny, and into sci fi and fantasy. He was freckly and had braces and didn't talk much. His sense of humor was very "off" (he had no timing, and couldn't crack a joke to save his life). And no one liked him (most of all his sister), except for me. He chose the movie due to the flying saucer on the cover. And I said, "YES! Get it!" despite everyone else pooh-pooh-ing his choice and grumbling a lot (including my best friends Chris and Jamie).

We all watched it. First movie of the evening! And my god, everyone was entranced.

Everyone crashed in the basement about 3 AM. Kevin and I stayed up and re-watched Forbidden Planet in my bedroom, thrilled by that movie. We were even more astonished by it than the others.

"Yes, relatively simple alcohol molecules with traces of fusel oil..."


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