North by Northwest

North by Northwest ★★★★

This actual very first 007 film holds a special place in my heart. This is the third time I saw it, and it is the first time I watched it on a tv. My dad was a cinéphile. he loved the classics - I already told you guys in my Once upon a time in the West review. Anyway, I remember sitting at the kitchen table when I was thirteen going on fourteen, having breakfast with my parents. It was a Saturday morning and the football (still refusing to say 'soccer', guys) was cancelled three days before because of bad weather. I had to think of something and I asked my parents what they were planning to do for the Saturday. They told me the had plans: they would travel to friends in Maastricht, a four-hour trip back then, which felt like ages so I wasn't really keen on that. My dad saw my face going dark and he said: 'But you're not going with us'.

It wasn't the prospect of being home alone that delighted me, it was not having to travel for all those boring hours (mind you, I love to travel now and taking a look at the country - any country - but what do you know when you're that young?). And then my dad said I was to visit my aunt in The Hague. I remember protesting against it, since she wasn't my favorite - at all - but I had to go. So, about an hour and a half later I found myself standing in front of The Hague Holland Spoor railway station. I saw her coming, at her bike, she waved at me as one waves towards a long forgotten friend: enthusiast, but cautious. I was to sit at the back on her bike - definitely not my favorite place - and we drove to her home. She lived close to the beach of Scheveningen (look that up in The Spy Who came In From The Cold) and the day went by, as quietly and boring as I expected it to be. After diner she told me to get my jacket. That bike again. And I had to hold an umbrella against the rain - thank god there wasn't any wind because I wouldn't be alive today. We stopped in front of a cinema and my aunt told me my dad gave her money to watch this special film. At that age, I felt that special could mean black and white and French, so I tried not to roll my eyes in a negative way too obvious. 'It's from his favorite director', she told me. It was North by Northwest. I remember being glued to the screen - in awe, in letsuseanysynonymforfeelinggreat.

And that's the story of the first Hitchcock film I ever saw. Lifelong fan now, thanks to my dad.

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