Monthly Archives: October 2020
A few must watch Halloween shows
1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
It’s a classic! It’s a tradition shared by generations; it crosses generations and binds us. it’s upsetting that this year it won’t be on TV for the first time is four decades and can only be viewed by purchasing a subscription to Apple TV. That’s not right! Everyone should have free access to this cultural gem.
2. Hocus Pocus
This one is just 100% enjoyable! Love the costumes, the talking cat, the overall story and the three Sanderson sisters – portrayed so wonderfully by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. And who won’t enjoy a humorously spooky Halloween tale set in Salem, Massachusetts?
3. Halloween (1978 – the original)
Simply, iconic. When I taught a college course about American cinema, I loved showing this film to students during fall semester. It truly started the slasher horror flicks, but it did so in a very tasteful way. Does that sound strange? How can a slasher movie be tasteful? Well, it bypasses blood and gore and instead focuses on building suspense and unique point of view camera angles. It started a genre and introduced a new way of telling a visual story.
4. Sleepy Hollow
One of Johnny Depp’s best! I love the Washington Irving folktale about the infamous Headless Horseman. And Tim Burton’s gothic vision of this classic American story is a true delight. It’s beautiful and scary and the scenery and music are fantastic. And the cast? Fabulous. Perfect.
5. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
It’s a much lighter telling of the spooky horseman and his midnight rides, but it so enjoyable. I watch it every year and it makes me laugh. Bing Crosby is the narrator and Disney’s Ichabod is a gangly, awkward, and rather absent-minded teacher who falls head over heels in love with Katrina Van Tassel, which puts him in the path of the Headless Horseman.
6. Practical Magic
Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest and Aiden Quinn are absolutely charming in this magical film. Although the story line entwining the two witch sisters, played by Bullock and Kidman, is entertaining, I enjoy the scenes with their eccentric witchy aunts, played by Channing and Wiest, even more. Alice Hoffman’s book on which the movie is based is a wonderful read and you can also find out more about the Owens family in two additional books, The Rules of Magic and Magic Lessons.