Calling Mrs. Trumbull

Sometimes I get a bit impatient and want the children to grow up a little faster so I can share films with them that don't involve sarcastic cats or operatic turtles or crime-fighting dogs.

I confess I did recently make the possible mistake of letting Child the Younger watch many episodes of  I Love Lucy on library DVD with me when we were both lying ill and lethargic on the sofa. He has since stopped requesting viewings of Maisy in favor of "that funny heart show" and, really, it makes sense. If you are almost three and think your choices are between a primitively-drawn mouse and her friends who mutter mysteriously to one another in what sounds suspiciously like Serbo-Croatian OR Lucy hilariously trying to pretend twenty-five pounds of cheese is a baby (after sensibly flying to Europe WITHOUT child in tow) in order to fly said cheese home on an airplane without paying luggage fees, which would you choose?

But that is not really the sharing I meant to talk about sharing. What I would like to share is that great and bottomless treasure trove we have in the Criterion Collection. If you have limited viewing time (which, if you're like me, is already at war with your laundry-dishes-bill-paying-clean-out-this-random-cupboard-while-the-kids-sleep-time) and want to make the most of it, you really need to worship at the altar of Criterion with me. Unless, of course, you have your own reliable Mrs. Trumbull who will babysit your Little Ricky so you can fly off to Europe and see films in arty theaters. I'm guessing you don't, so here are three to get you started:

Eyes Without A Face may be the most lyrically filmed work of horror you will see in black and white.  A surgeon father in Paris is cutting the faces off kidnapped women in an attempt to cure his own beloved daughter's disfigurement.  It's suspenseful--mesmerizingly creepy--and possibly even more horrifying now that full facial grafts are a medical reality.

Ohayo is the very funny tale of two young Japanese brothers who take vows of silence to protest their parents' refusal to purchase a television set.  Set in a late 1950's Tokyo suburb, this is an exploration of changing cultural traditions with a side of fart jokes.  

The Passion of Joan of Arc was originally a silent French film released in 1928. It has been set to an amazing orchestral work, Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, with a performance of the choral ensemble Anonymous 4. Believed lost to a fire, the film was miraculously found in perfect condition in 1981--in a Norwegian mental institution. This is art, and a higher power wants you to see it.

And if any of you do know where Mrs. Trumbull is hiding, I'd really like her number.