Birthdays in Film

Today is a momentous day as throughout the world, it is free Slurpee day at 7-Eleven. It also happens to be my birthday. I’ve never been one for big birthday blowouts. I’m not big on eating out; there aren’t any fun venues I’d want to hang out at on my birthday. I tend to like a small group and a quiet event to something loud, “fun” and noisy. However, being a movie buff, I use a birthday as a good excuse to go see a movie or two.

I got into movies in the fall of 2006, so I didn’t do anything movie-related for that birthday. However, in 2007, I got a rather large group (for me) of friends and immediate family to go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We hung out for a few hours afterwards and it was probably the closest I’ve come to having a party for my birthday as an adult.

The next year, 2008, was easily the most stressful summer of my life. I was taking 15 hours over the summer in order to finish an associate degree. I was taking Physics at the time and going to class half of the day, doing the homework until dinner, and then working on a philosophy class in the evenings. Somehow I took the time to go see Hellboy II: The Golden Army with my Dad and it was a much-needed break from the utter chaos of too much school in a small amount of time.

As time went on, I became more interested in taking day trips to nearby cities to see art-house fair instead of the latest multiplex offering, especially during the summer. I convinced my Dad that we should go to Austin to see a couple of different kinds of film at places. In 2009, I saw both The Brothers Bloom and Moon on my birthday. Not the most artsy of the art-house, but certainly a bit more pensive than anything playing locally.

The next year (2010), my Dad and I went to Angelika Dallas, which is my favorite nearby venue for movies. The double bill this time around was Cyrus and Winter’s Bone. Luckily, alcohol was involved or I don’t think my Dad would have made it. Sorry about Cyrus, Dad, that sure was an interesting film.

After that, the tradition has fallen by the wayside. In 2011 my family was spread out across the country so I spent my birthday alone, which isn’t as sad as it sounds for an introvert like me. It was enjoyable to have a day of silence and a day where I had free reign over the living room TV. I did see The Tree of Life the week before, which I considered for practical purposes my birthday celebration. I think I got my sister to come to that one as well.

Last year, I was in London, so I didn’t see a movie for my birthday. Instead, I hung out with my fellow travelers. It was a good, low-key birthday. Being across the world was enough excitement; I was happy enough that I didn’t need anything special. The fact that it happened during my birthday was just a bonus.

This evening, the birthday movie of choice is Pacific Rim, it seemed like the obvious choice, especially since I saw Hellboy II five birthdays ago (wow, has it really been that long?). Also, I have to give a big shout out to my Dad who watched all of these weird movies with me for my birthday. Hope you feel more enlightened than traumatized by these film experiences!

I’m curious, what movie-related birthday traditions do you have? Is there a favorite you watch every year? Do you brave the multiplex or check out a smaller venue?  Which was the best or the most memorable?

© 2013 James Blake Ewing