As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be in movies.
To me, being in the movie business was better than being President of the United States. When I was 9 years old, I remember being at a dinner party with my family. My uncle only had a few DVDs and one of them was Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas.
Like any 9-year-old, I wanted to watch it simply because my uncle said I couldn't. He told me to ask my mom -- you know, to get me to stop bothering him -- so, I ran up the stairs, tugged at my mom's shirt and asked her.
She sat me down in the corner and asked me, "You really want to watch this movie?" I pleaded with her. And, like a miracle (I say miracle because what parent would let their 9-year-old watch Goodfellas?), she said "Okay, but remember: none of this is real, okay? It's a movie. A lot of people made this and you have to remember that."
I ran back downstairs, screamed at my uncle that my mom had just said yes, and he looked at me amazed. He said, "alright" furtively, started up the movie, and sat down on the couch next to me.
Once the opening scene ended (the one at the top of this block), I was hooked.
In the years that followed my first Rated-R feature, we'd go to Blockbuster (Blockbuster was a place you had to physically go to in order to rent a movie) together and look for all of Scorsese's movies.
We started with Casino (pictured above), then it was Mean Streets, and then Raging Bull. I can still remember sitting on the bed in her room; the lights turned off, my dad quietly snoring in the bed next to me, my mom's arm around me, and sitting in silence.
She'd whisper to me during certain moments in each film, "Did you see that? Wasn't that cool?" or "That's how you're supposed to act, De Niro is such a good actor". I'd never respond because I was too busy grinning.
During my teenage years, my mom and I would go out to the movies every other week. Just me and her; they were our movie dates, they were our time to talk to each other about anything, and they were some of the best times of my life.
When The Departed came out, we instantly looked at each other and -- without saying a word -- agreed that we were going out to see it. It continued our tradition of Mom and Martin entertaining me for a couple of hours.
I can still remember sitting in the seat next to my mother and how excited we were. The previews played and we were dying with anticipation. And as soon as the movie started, we smiled at each other and fell into the screen in front of us.
I know I said I fell in love with cinema because of Wes Anderson but Martin Scorsese and my Mom started the courting process. It was an arranged relationship. My Mom and Martin Scorsese knew that I'd really get along with Cinema so they constantly set us up on dates.
My Mom (pictured above looking like the coolest kid I've always known her to be) and I haven't gone to the movies together in a long time but that's okay. She's usually tired after working two jobs almost everyday and I'm usually busy trying to figure out how to be an adult.
But I cherish those times. I feel extremely lucky/thankful that my Mom took advantage of my formative years and exposed me to as many films as she could. If it wasn't for our movie dates, I don't know where I'd be. I wouldn't be looking at film the way I do, I wouldn't be married to cinema, and I wouldn't be so interested in writing about it all the time.
I never ended up being in any movies (other than the amateur one I made in High School) but that's okay. I ended up with a love so deep and pure that I don't know how to frame my life without it.