In the the past weeks F has been playing soccer on Monday nights and coincidentally, on the same night they have started showing a cycle of old Dustin Hoffman movies. Last week it was Kramer vs. Kramer, yesterday it was Tootsie's turn.
Considering I hadn't watched either movie in about 30 years, I wasn't surprised I had missed out on a lot of the humor and drama. When I first saw Kramer vs. Kramer I was a child approximately Billy's age with recently divorced parents and I was moving to another continent with my mom. It was all pretty matter-of-factual to me. Now, as the mother of a daughter that age, I watched it with renewed interest and much more involvement than the last time. As for Tootsie, I had natually completely missed out on the sexual subtext, which is surprising considering the whole comedy revolves around it. I also realized with a little gasp that Dustin, Meryl and Jessica were probably all younger than I am today when they starred in those movies. Finally, I smiled when I realized Michael's roommate in Tootsie is Bill Murray, who only became a noteworthy presence in my life after Ghostbusters. Or that Tootise marked Geena Davis' first movie appearance.
Generally speaking I am not usually one to watch old movies, it just isn't my thing. I am not that person with a huge collection of dvds that I see over and over again. But something about these two movies just sucked me in, something more than just purely enjoying good acting by a younger, softer version of the stars they are today. The truth is they bring me back to a different time of my life. A time that I can now see with much more awareness than I did as a kid. They portray the NY of my younger years, a time when I had still lived most of my life in the city instead of Europe. The years of the Russian Tea Room, the Twin Towers and of a seedy but truer version of Times Square.
I felt a twinge when I saw a NY bus drive by in a scene that was advertising the hit musical Evita. I remember every minute of those summer nights in the early Eighties when I played that record over and over again. I sang of a new Argentina, the chains of the masses untied, and had not a clue what it meant. I sat in a Broadway theater mesmerized while Magaldi admonished Eva of the perils of Buenos Aires. Those tunes were the soundtrack of several years of my early life and every note brings back a memory. My family still roll their eyes at the mere mention of the Argentine rose.
And what about mocassins? Did you have a pair? I had completely forgotten about my white ones until I watched Lange's slow-motion twirl last night.