Radio Heartland has tickets to the Americana Showcase at the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, this Friday night at 7:30 pm. Featured performers: Dana Cooper, Brandon Sampson, David Stoddard and Dan Israel.
Late in the comments for yesterday's blog, the topic turned to tears and a couple of Trial Balloon readers identified a pair of unlikely movies that, for them, carry a sentimental wallop.
Catherine said she has cried over the science fiction spoof "Galaxy Quest," and Joanne in Big Lake admitted the tears flow when she watches "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan".
I'm not interested in passing judgment. Weeping has always been an important part of the movie going experience. In fact, if you'd like to waste a few hours right now, you can sniffle through an exhaustive list of the top tearful moments in cinema history.
There shouldn't be any "shoulds" when it comes to crying at movies -you do or you don't and in either case, it's OK as long as the gasping and sobbing doesn't overwhelm the soundtrack and ruin the experience for everyone else.
In both movies mentioned during yesterday's conversation, the waterworks start when an important character dies. In "Wrath of Khan", the victim is Spock himself. Early versions of the film apparently offered no hint that Spock could come back, and it has been reported that people left the test screenings "in despair". So the studio tacked on a hopeful tidbit that helped make possible the character's return in later (less successful) films. Death does seem to be the most direct path to despair for movie audiences.
Sherrilee added this: "I also cry all the time at movies... even commercials on TV can get me. And, if a dog dies, then I'm a basket case!"
I would like to know which commercials make you cry, Sherrilee, and if you think the ad was intended to get that response. Pushing the potential customer to tears is an unusual marketing approach for any advertiser, but I suppose the goal is to be remembered by any means possible.
And to re-connect to yesterday's topic, if a movie makes US cry, what does it do to our potential space alien overlords who are watching all this media flow off the planet? Are they moved to tears as well? Perhaps the Spock death scene combined with Patrick Swayze expiring in "Ghost" and Old Yeller's demise could be mixed into a potent emotional cocktail that would serve as our best weapon against invasion and oblivion!
Cinema, song or story - what inspires the waterworks?