Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nightly Nap and Nights at the Movies

You'd think that you wouldn't get a lot of time together with your husband with newborn twins in the house. But Adam and I have found that we have a nightly date, of sorts, and that it's more enjoyable than we might have imagined.

After some trial and error, we've come up with a rather good system for getting the twins through the night with enough food and us through the night with enough sleep.

We put our older two down at 8 p.m., and then try to get to sleep ourselves as soon after this as possible. We've made it around 8:15 a couple of times, but usually it's more like 9.

We call the sleep that follows our "nap". As in "we're not really expecting to sleep much, we'll take what we can get, and bedtime is really a few hours away." Low expectations are key.

When the girls wake up again - anytime from ten minutes to three hours after we lay down - we get up together and do a major feed/change/pump/feed again/swaddle routine. It takes about an hour. During this time, we've been watching movies. Usually we'll watch the first half one night and the second half the next.

And you know what? It's pretty pleasant.

Then we head back to bed, after having determined who's on first shift and who's on second. (We basically split the rest of the night into two halves, and one of us gets up with the girls when they need it the first half, and the other gets up with them the second half. That way we each get a few unbroken hours of sleep, which I hear is good for your mental health.)

So, movies. We've been watching a few. And I'm beginning to appreciate them a little more as an actual art form. I'm afraid I'm the sort of person who's long looked at movies and tv shows as second-rate art - way, way, way behind the written word. And my bias is still towards books over movies. But it's like the common "women-are-weaker-than-men" statement. Yes, most women are weaker physically than most men. But the exceptions are legion. And, likewise, there are a lot of movies that are better than a lot of books.

I'm also beginning to be really impressed with how many different things have to be done well for a movie to be even remotely good. And impressed at how often that happens. I mean, if the music's bad, it ruins the movie. If the cinematography's bad, it ruins the movie. If the acting's bad, it ruins the movie. If the writing's bad, it ruins the movie. With all these potential weaknesses, it's impressive that there are so many watchable films, where maybe not all the elements are stellar, but enough of them are good that you have a decent film.

I read an article recently that made an argument that film is the art form of our time, and that it's wise for Christians to be conversant in it, aware of it. I'm not completely sure how far I'd follow that (I think there's an argument to be made that if you have to actually do a sinful thing to act like you're doing a sinful thing, then you are sinning. E.g., you don't have to actually kill someone to act like you're killing someone, so it's probably okay to for an actor to portray a murderer, however you do actually have to touch the breast of a woman who's not your wife to act like you're touching the breast of a woman who's not your wife, so aren't you really sinning there? And if it's a sin for you to do it, is it possible that it's sinful for me to watch it? You could argue against it, but I think the possibility has to at least be considered), but I think I do agree that film (or possibly television or blogs) is the art form of our time. And I'm enjoying watching a few more movies than I usually do.

Two recent ones we enjoyed: Thank You For Smoking and The Darjeeling Limited. Here's my limited endorsement: they both made me laugh, they're both thought-provoking, and I'd like to see them both again, if only to add the thought-provoking process along a little bit. Oh, and the second one is really, truly visually gorgeous. (The second one also, inadvertantly, showed me what I now plan to do if I ever happen to be in a Hindu temple. I'll go ahead and just pray to Jesus and then cross myself. Of course!)

So, anything y'all would recommend we add to our library requests as we continue our midnight dates?

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


MWΣ said...

I have recently enjoyed (from Hulu, Netflix disk and instant viewing, and network web sites):
Oceans 13
Arrested Development
The first episode of Ballykissangel
Howl's Moving Castle
Pushing Daisies
30 Rock
Porterhouse Blue
No Reservations
3:10 to Yuma
Bourne Ultimatum

I think you would like all of those, though the top picks are No Reservations, Porterhouse Blue, and Pushing Daisies.

Rebecca said...

Anything Miyazaki: Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Porco Rosso... ah, such lovely films!

Also, Far and Away, High Noon, The Life Aquatic, Seven Samuri, Ikiru, Sanjuro, Ran, Throne of Blood, Meet the Robinsons, Ratatouille, anything else Pixar...

Hope those keep you busy for a while. Good luck!

Rowleeeee said...

You'll probably like The Life Aquatic if you liked Darjeeling Limited.

One thing to do is work your way through the AFI top 100. Biola's library has a lot of these. Many very old films are made very well and are a blast to watch.

Errol Flynn's Robin Hood, for instance.

Definitely check out It Happened One Night, it is something like the first romantic comedy and is well worth seeing.

I recall that the following were fun/good:
Some Like it Hot (not arty - but fun and silly)
The Maltese Falcon
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Casablanca (note that there is a Bogart trend here?)
Mutiny on the Bounty
The Philadelphia Story
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Mrs. Miniver

Tienne said...

If you and your hubby are amenable, there are some beautiful old films I would suggest. All the classics, like Gone with the Wind, An Affair to Remember, Casablanca, A Man for All Seasons, Robin Hood, The Lion in Winter, Anthony and Cleopatra, etc. They make you think and have the added benefit of little to no nudity or inappropriate language.

Beyond that, historical dramas or period films are always at the top of my list. You can't take them at face value in terms of a history lesson, but the sets, costuming and dialogue are usually worth it. Some good ones are The Last of the Mohicans, The Affair of the Necklace, Spartacus or Gladiator, Amistad, and Roots.

Documentaries are also usually winners, though they can be very depressing, too. Supersize Me is probably the best documentary I've seen in a long time and I highly recommend it.

Faux documentaries like Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman and Spinal Tap are beyond hilarious, if you're just looking for some funny. And I like kids movies like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, The Princess Diaries and Ratatouille. Those you could show your kids during the day, too, if you want to see them again.

What fun! I'm so impressed your husband gets up with you and you spend time together in the middle of the night. What a blessing for your relationship.