Manic Monnight Movie Madness

18 January 2012 in Reviews, Traveling


We tend to watch very little “television” here. Technically we don’t watch any because we don’t have a TV, but honestly we, on average, we maybe watch an hour or so per night on our laptop. We have a small collection of seasons of TV shows that are beginning to wear thin and now we get a couple of movies from the library every once and a while. Over Christmas, we began a new tradition of watching A Christmas Story for 24 hours straight. It was a roller coaster of nostalgia and joy, then a little boredom, then questioning our reasoning, a couple short naps, and right back to joy. By the end of it we were sad that it was over. (It was an iTunes rental that expired 24 hours after you begin watching it so we had little choice in the matter).

It had been a lot of fun so we thought we’d give it another try. The library had Grumpy Old Men and we felt it held the right amount of nostalgia and comedy. Though we had seen it several times it had been a while so that would help as well.

So Monnight we began our first viewing at 6pm. (Note: “Monnight” is not an overlooked error, but a trend I’m starting. Why do we say “Monday”, “Tuesday”, but not “Monnight”, “Tuesnight”? You might say “because they’re not words you idiot”. Well neither was “McJob” or “google” twenty years ago). Any how, back to the movie. We immediately discovered flaws in our movie choice. We had not realized there were so many serious parts in this comedy. I think A Christmas Story worked well because its all funny. And as the night went on and sleep deprivation set it the funny parts got even funnier. This was the situation with Grumpy Old Men as well, but the sad parts kept breaking up our laughing streaks. But we watched on anyway. We were never ones to back down from a challenge, especially one which was self-imposed.

If you’ve never attempted this feat, which we assume most haven’t, there are some interesting things that occur over the course 24 hours. There is a natural arc which I explained briefly above, but will go into greater depth here. The first viewing we were completely engaged. We hadn’t seen this movie in several years, so most of the jokes were next to “new” for us. The story itself, while stored back in the attics of our memories, also provided a relatively new experience. In the first viewing we both carefully followed each scene.

In the second viewing we payed slightly less attention, but were still, for the most part, glued to the screen. It is in this second and third viewing that each scene and each line began to burn deep into our memory. This is aided by a trivia game we began around this time. Each of us came up with a list of ten questions regarding the movie. So we each paid close attention to the details, trying to pick out our own questions while preparing for the ones that would be directed at us. So by the fourth viewing, after trivia had been played, we both felt as though there was no detail in the movie left unnoticed.

Its around this time, as we approached midnight, that we began to lose some interest. To keep our eyes open we allowed ourselves the incentive of a midnight snack. This helped greatly during our marathon of A Christmas Story. So around midnight I prepared, my now famous—at least in this trailer—fake nacho cheese dip. This, paired with some chips, helped us make it through the next few hours, but soon our eyes began to feel heavy and the movie just couldn’t provide the same level of entertainment it had the previous six times.

Snow at Panther FlatIt was around this time that we were greeted by a small miracle of sorts. It began to snow here. This was completely unexpected. We haven’t seen a ranger yet, but we assume this is a fairly uncommon occurrence. It was beautifully blanketing everything in the park, but only visible through the dark night in the few lights around our trailer and the bathroom. I accompanied Lindsay to the restroom and stood in awe of the tiny flakes tumbling down in the black and silent night. This moment was uplifting, but also calming. Lindsay fell asleep shortly thereafter and I soon followed suit. While Lindsay’s sleep seemed heavy and restful, my sleep was light and restless. I allowed the movie to go to the menu just once without a punctual restart.

Snow at Panther FlatAround four in the morning I was back up and ready to continue this epic saga. The snow was still lightly falling outside, providing visual relief from the otherwise uninterrupted loop we had burdened ourselves with. At this point I could still laugh at the movie, but certain lines began to blur. Lindsay noticed it as well after awakening. After over a half dozen viewings set in a row it begins to feel like the pieces of the movie are rearranging and playing out of order. You could have swore, that just a few minutes ago that same part had played. Hadn’t the movie recently started? Why is this part towards the end playing? This of course was all in our heads, but it really was as though the fabric of time, of one continually line, was beginning to blur and fade or knot and twist. I can’t say that this experiment drove us mad, but it did cause some mental confusion. Our minds did begin to play tricks on themselves and I’m sure the lack of sleep didn’t help.

Snow at Panther FlatAs the sun came up it was still, lightly snowing. And our rule was, as long as the movie is playing it counts. So as one playing was ending we restarted the movie and went out for a little walk. Outside was a literal winter wonderland. The trees, bushes, and buildings were all blanketed in fresh, white snow. And as the sun crested the hill this snow began to fall and drip from the trees and bushes slowly to the ground under clear blue skies. It was strange to be standing in a combination of rain and snow with not a cloud in the sky. And the sun cutting through it made everything shine and sparkle. The blanket of snow glittered like the dust of a million diamonds. We slowly strolled through the park in awe of our recently redecorated surroundings. Down by the river we stood in the warm sun and watched a groups of birds bathing in the shimmering shower of water melting off of a large tree. It was still pretty cold though once you stopped moving or once you were out of the direct sunlight, of which our park provides little. So we dutifully returned to our movie marathon. But we spent most of our time starring not at the screen, but out of our large back window. Here the sun was beaming through the trees and drops of water and snow glistened as they fell.

Snow at Panther FlatThe movie at this point was still a blur, thankfully interrupted by breakfast, then lunch and the continual, frigid beauty falling right outside our window. We eventually made it through our marathon living the life of cats drifting in and out of consciousness only arising from our horizontal states for food, drink and to use the restroom. I don’t think we’ll make Manic Monnight Movie Madness a weekly thing, but we certainly plan to do it again, just not anytime soon.

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18 January 2012 Reviews, Traveling

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