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25 April 2009

She Screams in Colour, She Screams in Red

After her cat-fanatic phase ended, sometime in 1996, Celine became a movie buff--movie obsessive even. This was a time when I would watch the occasional film but you could hardly call me a connoisseur. I remember her talking a lot about watching films on laser discs when I wasn't sure what that meant (I'm still not quite sure but I think they were ill-fated) and her two favourites were Jaws and Scream (the latter, obviously, because of its superb (horror/thriller) film meta). Although Celine looked about 18 in 1996 when Scream was released and went to see it at the cinema, I certainly didn't and so I watched it at her house one night after it came out on video (Celine didn't have the laser disc, for some reason). 

It became an immediate favourite of mine and when it was next on Sky Movies, I taped it and then rewatched that tape many, many times over the coming years. I loved the witty dialogue and subtle references and self-mockery. I loved the music. I loved the meta. So much so that it didn't even matter that I knew very little about the films or the genres it was mocking. There was a time when I could quote long passages of dialogue although my memory seems to be foggy as I can only seem to remember, Fuck you. / We already played that game. You lost., which I thought was hilarious when I was 15 and even incorporated it into one of my novels. And back then, I also thought Skeet Ulrich was sex on legs.

I probably last saw Scream about seven years ago when my tape of the film and my TV-with-video-player were last in the same room. My video collection was all life laundered a few years ago for being obsolete but I'm going to have to re-acquire a copy of Scream as I just (finally) watched Psycho and it feels wrong to have watched Scream so many years before Psycho. Worst of all was that in parts, I was able to finish the Psycho characters' sentences because they had been quoted or paraphrased in Scream. As soon as I heard the line, "She just goes a little mad sometimes," I knew it would be followed by, "we all go a little mad sometimes," which was quoted in Scream.

Since then, as well as the more directly relevant Psycho I've seen a lot more films and although I would hardly consider myself a connoisseur, I think I would get a lot of enjoyment out of a rewatching of Scream (although certainly not either of its sequels, which were OK but no better). It will be interesting to see which of the lines I still laugh at and which jokes and in-jokes I now get. I'm almost twice as old as I was when I first saw Scream so I hope that my tastes will have matured: Liev Schreiber, if anyone, is probably the most lust-worthy actor and will I like Courtney Cox's pushy, bitchy roving reporter character so much now that Friends is no longer my favourite TV show? Will I be able to hear the line (addressed to Billy, a 17-year-old guy), "What are you doing with a cellular telephone, son?" without laughing? Will I still appreciate Kevin Williamson's writing now that I don't watch Dawson's Creek

Most importantly, can I possibly take Wes Craven seriously having seen Cursed?


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