Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11-29-11 Childhood Sounds

NPR's "Sciency" Blog by Robert Krulwich ran a piece today called "What I Still Hear" that included the sound of an 8mm projector:

which, oddly enough, does ring in my memory but which I also heard just recently when Dad purchased one on eBay so we could watch and discover what was on the few reels of old home movies that had never been included in the video conversion from the 80s. One of the reels has us on our street on Kirkdale decked out for Easter in our finest (read: ugly) 70s clothing. That alone was worth the price of admission and Mom has promised to get them digitally converted soon.

And on our next trip, we're firing up the projector to watch these:

I have the most vivid memory of a bedspread hung up in my room when I must have been about 4 and Dad setting up the projector, that noisy thing that you had to wait eons for him to thread and get ready, just for it to play 2.5 minutes of film before you had to rewind and start the process over.

There was no sound. Well, except for the sound of the projector.

The Disney Mystery Film is, surprise!, a clip from Zorro. I recall he is in a bar with an upstairs balcony he's swinging from. And that's about it.  I can't wait to see it again. Same goes with Mr. Magoo. It's been 35 years since I've seen either of them.

The Disney films, of course, I got to see at the theater when they came back every 7 years, before purchasing them, first on VHS, then DVD. I haven't converted to BluRay  ... yet...

But these particular scenes are etched in my memory because of the silent shows.

The Snow White clip is of them having to wash up before dinner. I always waited with great anticipation for Dopey to fall in and spit soap bubbles. I remember loving Bambi's getting twitterpated over Filine and getting his antlers stuck in the cherry blossoms of the tree and turning so red when she licked his cheek. Monstro the Whale terrified me. But the favorite, by far, was Cinderella: her terrible stepsisters ripping at her dress, her stepmother's evil eyes, her flight into the garden where the magic appeared.

When I saw them in theaters, it was almost jarring to hear the voices and the music swelling. I knew Bippity Boppity Boo by heart because of my album (listened to endlessly) but putting them together was just sensory overload.

If you mute the speakers, imagine the projector sound and really jumpy film, it's still not the same:


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