After a quarter of a century, you might not guess that there are still pieces of the world to which my wife is still unaware. That's where I come in. As her husband, it is my responsibility to fill in the blanks. This is especially true with movies. She has never seen Lawrence of Arabia. For example. There are others, of course.
We have a list. It is the "I Can't Believe You Haven't Seen" List. Over the years this list has fluctuated. It has diminished when we lurch past a title on cable TV, or something pops up on demand. This is how we wile away the hours in our empty nest. When we were parents of a boy who relied on us to have his animated film needs, and later as chaperones to the latest installment of the Fast and Furious saga. There were not a lot of inroads made during this period. The gaps that we filled were those our son needed filled. "Dad! Luke blew up the Death Star!" It was a revelation. Meanwhile, the "I Can't Believe You Haven't Seen List" grew.
A week ago, after my wife and I had spent a few days helping our son move into the house that he will call home for the length of his lease, we returned to the place that he used to call home and we found ourselves talking about "Un Chien Andalou." The surreal collaboration between Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel was on the list, and it was available on YouTube. With twenty-one minutes and twenty-seven seconds to spare, we dialed it up.
"So that is what all the fuss is about," my wife said when it was all over. We spent a few more minutes reflecting on the symbolism and the juxtapositions and other artsy things that one does after watching "Un Chien Andalou." Cross that one off.
A few days later, a friend of mine sent me an email alert that Turner Classic Movies was going to broadcast "Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine." I set the DVR. This was a title that was not on the list, but it was a film that had somehow escaped my wife's viewing from the time she was born until just about now. Now she has seen Dwayne Hickman and Frankie Avalon team up to unravel Vincent Price's plan for world domination from the makers of all those Beach Blanket movies. That problem is solved.
Now we need to cobble together three and a half hours for Lawrence. And then everything else on the list.