Sunday, December 05, 2010

Why it's really a wonderful 'Life'

Light snow was spitting from the sky as Jenn and I made our way to the Tennessee Theatre this morning.

The crowd wrapped around the corner before noon. It's the beginning of what hopefully will be a long-time Knoxville tradition -- a free screening of our favorite Christmas flick, Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life," in our favorite movie house, courtesy of Home Federal Bank. Picture perfect. Somebody even started singing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

Place was packed. So good to see. Parents brought their kids. Kids brought their parents. Most everybody brought a smile.

After Bill Snyder played tunes on that awesome organ, the curtains parted to present Capracorn in glorious black and white.

No, that's not right. I've always felt that label unfair to the talented director.

Beneath the 1940s monochrome shine lies a powerful study of the classic American struggle -- balancing the needs of the many with the wants of the one. In George Bailey a lot of us see ourselves -- wanting to bust out of our hometowns while feeling the pull of community and responsibility.

Everybody clapped as the final credits rolled. I'd almost forgotten that movies are meant to be seen this way, together, in an opulent place like an old-time movie palace.

Here's hoping the audience took home something more than memories. George learns too, as we all must, that no one who has friends is a failure. Reaching out, loving your neighbor, it's all more than mere words.

Great reminder to remember as Christmas comes a-callin'.

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Anonymous Alan Carmichael said...

Jake, good blog. I was there Sunday, too, and you are right on about the place this film holds in our cinema tradition. It's great on the big screen at the Tennessee. Thanks to Home Federal for putting it on.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

Thanks much, Alan. It was a fantastic event. I am proud to be banking at Home Federal these days!

Merry Christmas -- and tell Cynthia I said hello.

2:12 PM  

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