A director friend of mine, Patrick Sisam, holds a Sunday ‘Movie Night’ at his house roughly every 6 weeks. A bunch of our friends get together, have supper (Patrick’s famous chilli) and after listening to a presentation about his chosen film, we all watch the movie. Sound geeky?... Don’t get too despondent, we are all wicked cool…
Last night we watched Hal Ashby’s cult black comedy, ‘Harold and Maude.’ The idea of a 19 year old boy falling in love with a 79 year old woman seemed, at best, wildly unrealistic – and then you meet Maude… And then you get it. Everyone falls in love with Maude.
Harold (Bud Cort) is obsessed with death; he drives a hearse, regularly traumatises his mother by elaborately faking his own suicides and attends funerals for fun. Maude (Ruth Gordon) however, is obsessed with life – free spirited, energetic and fabulously eccentric, she obeys no rules and lives her life passionately and spontaneously.
It is during their relationship (one of the sweetest, if not the most visually mismatched I have seen) that Maude, with all her exuberant zeal, saves Harold from his downhill spiral and teaches him (and the viewer) to enjoy life.