Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Watch Your Head

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Timing, once again, is everything. So, this post serves as another shout-out to my friend and author John Kenneth Muir. His year-end series, the Burton Brief, on filmmaker Tim Burton has been one more pleasurable presentation of his to follow. And it was his cult film review this week that triggered another memory download (along with a reminder of a time almost 12 years ago by my wife).

“It is truth, but truth is not always appearance.”


Theatre

Century City 14


Movie

Time

November 20, 1999: Remember Y2K? Some of you may recall the angst associated with the dire predictions of the time. Many feared widespread, doomsday disruption to critical services as the year 1999 ticked over to 2000. Where I worked certainly just wanted to keep their systems, and patients, functioning. It caused a number of us on staff at the job to work overtime ferreting out any legacy computer code in said systems still around we interacted with.

Most vacations or time off was cut for those in IT services as the end of year approached to cover the effects of “the rollover” as it became affectionately known. Today, few refer to it or even want to recollect the spell since most of the predictions never come to pass. I do because my daughter’s birth approached with it.

The week before she arrived, she was already late. I know a due date is just an estimate based on a calculation using the mother’s last menstrual period. Just a guess of things we think we have control over — and we don’t. No big deal, really. Still, it plays on a parent’s mind something fierce. Didn’t help that her future brother had arrived early.

Couple with this and the Millennium Bug at work (plus the everyday parenting chores), my very pregnant wife wanted to give us a break from the stress of both. And, to get me out of the house (and her hair), even if that meant she’d be home alone with our four-year-old. Thus, she sent me to the movies on this day — to the nearby Century City 14 theaters, of course… along with cell phone and pager at the ready (just in case).

Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow turned out to the perfect mix of science, 19th 18th century technology and mysticism, along with the anxiety that accompanied knowing life was once again going to change. Big time. I recalled I bloody well loved it when I first took the movie all in. Then, I quickly got to the car and drove back home to my loved ones. Once more waiting on whatever was in store for us.


The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

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14 Responses to “TMT: Watch Your Head”

  1. rtm

    I’m not a big Burton fan but I remember enjoying this one! My colleague has a Sleepy Hollow action figure of sort, complete w/ the three chopped heads, ahah. That’s very sweet of your wife to give you a break just before your daughter arrives. Great story as always, thanks Michael!

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    • le0pard13

      This is a great one, alright. Coming after his ‘Mars Attacks’, which I hated btw, Burton rebounded gloriously with ‘Sleepy Hollow’. It was a perfect story for the turn of the century coming upon us then. And yes, my wife was very sweet to give me a break. All credit to her with this one. Thanks very much, Ruth.

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  2. John DuMond

    Ah, Y2K, the disaster that wasn’t. I remember it well. I was a security manager for a supermarket chain at the time. We were all told to be on call to respond to… whatever. What a tease.

    As for SLEEPY HOLLOW, great movie. Tim Burton’s movies are hit and miss for me. This one was a hit, his best film, in my opinion. The entire cast was excellent, and Burton did a great job in setting a creepy, late-18th Century tone.

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    • le0pard13

      Same here. I was on-call, too. Luckily, I didn’t have to be on-site like a number of my colleagues. Good thing, too, since we had my one month-old daughter and my four-year son at home, in fact, I only had to remote into the network to check out some of my servers and report their status right after the date rollover.

      Yeah, this is one of Tim Burton’s best. Cast, story, and setting were creepy and great. Fantastic score by Danny Elfman, too. Thanks very much for the comment and adding to this, John.

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  3. Jamie Helton

    It’s funny, I just watched “Sleepy Hallow” again last night with director’s commentary. This movie had all the right elements–cinematography, art direction, music, costumes, cast. The funny thing is that Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and Darth Tyranus are all in this film. Too bad Vader never made an appearance.

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    • le0pard13

      Great cast pick up on that Star Wars angle, Jamie. That would have been great if David Prowse could have somehow been in this film. Thanks for adding to this.

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  4. John Kenneth Muir

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the shout-out to my Tim Burton series on my blog, my friend. I have so much enjoyed your participation in the Burton Brief!

    I also very much appreciate reading your personal memories of the days leading up to Y2K and the birth of your daughter. One global disaster in the making, and one family blessing in the making, but fortunately even Y2K turned out all right too.

    Sleepy Hollow, being set in 1799, is one of the weirdest Millennial movies ever, if you think about it, but it really captured the troubled zeitgeist well, and remains one of my favorite Burton films (right up there with Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Big Fish). I think about you watching this in the theatre, and wondering about what the future would hold….wonder or anxiety? No doubt everyone’s mindset (pre-Y2K) made the movie much more effective, but with you waiting on word from your wife…even more so.

    Great post my friend.

    Best wishes,
    John

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    • le0pard13

      D’oh! I don’t know why I think of this film occurring in 1899 instead of 1799 — I’ve corrected this now. ‘Sleepy Hollow’ is a great and creepy Millennial film, alright. Yep, the angst of ’99 certainly found purchase with it, John. My daughter’s arrival the very next Saturday brought its own bit of magnificently wonderful unease. Luckily, we all came through that needle. Thank you so much for your comment and film insights, my friend. Best you and yours.

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  5. themovieblog8

    That looks like a nice theater! I haven’t seen Sleepy Hallow. The first movie I saw in a theater was Chicken Run. I couldn’t sit still that long, so we left before the end.

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    • le0pard13

      It was a nice complex of theaters, tmb8. AMC built a new stadium complex at the other end of the outdoor mall and this closed in December of 2005. Good memories there, though. I very much recommend ‘Sleepy Hollow’, my friend. Thanks.

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