Since MoBob has only stayed in Washington DC and San Francisco, I've been trying to think of DVDs I can send to prepare him for life in The South.
Criteria: no "Steel Magnolia" or "Deliverance" type movies. I've already sent him "Primary Colors"; others have suggested "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Sling Blade" which I had never heard of before but is apparently set in Arkansas. Billy Bob Thornton is from Arkansas, did you know? He wrote, directed, and starred in "Sling Blade," which won an Oscar for best screenplay. There's always "Talladega Nights" which I haven't seen - I'm not sure how enlightening it is about life in The South apart from the NASCAR aspect.
I've been listening to Vertical Horizon's new CD "Go" which plays on the band's website. It's the perfect moody, ephemeral music for another rainy day. How can you not love a band with lyrics like this excerpt from "I'm Still Here"?
You've seen the ashes in my heart
You smile the widest when I cry inside and my insides blow apart
(Obviously I read too much Sylvia Plath and listened too often to The Smiths during my adolescence.)
"Elizabethtown" was a good view of the South from a yankee's eyes movie. And you can't go wrong with "O Brother, Where Art Thou", a retelling of the Odyssey set in the South. I'm sure there are others, but those are the two that spring to mind just this second.
Send him the collected Dukes of Hazzard. No, I'm totally serious. Yes, it's a completely ludicrous depiction of Southern Life, but all my southern relatives loved the damn show (and so did I). It'll give him a good example of some of the stuff people care about down there, as well as some of the false stereotypes that really hork folks off.
On October 28th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Well, I hate to be cliche, but he has to see Gone with the Wind. Also Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Thelma and Louise, Crazy in Alabama, Forrest Gump, The Sound and the Fury, anything Thomas Wolfe, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Glory, A Time to Kill, Mississippi Burning, How to Make An American Quilt... That's all I can come up with right now.
Does MoBob read much? If so, there's plenty to suggest by way of Southern writers.
And even though you don't want him to see Steel Magnolias, he probably should. It really is one of the most southern of Southern movies out there, in terms of portraying a certain class of Southern culture and Southern women. (And believe me, I can say that with confidence because on every occasion I've been to Georgia on business, I've met women exactly like the Magnolians.)