me about the first time you can remember being thrilled.
1.A Being given an "airplane
ride" as a child. Someone holds your wrist and ankle and spins you
been your most frightening thrill ever?
2.A I used to suffer from panic attacks.
the smallest or slightest thing to have thrilled you?
3.A When I'm doing research at the
library, and I learn something specific and peculiar.
me why you're not a sensible person.
4.A I am a
were you doing the last time you were really bored?
Working at a temp job.
the most uninhibited thing you've ever done?
6.A I am very inhibited socially,
but fearless in certain areas. I have no fear, for example, of speaking
in front of a crowd, but I don't feel particularly "uninhibited"
when I do it.
things have you considered doing for thrill, but were too concerned about
7.A I won't go on amusement park rides
if they sound wrong -- clanking, etc.
always dreamt about being a paramedic, driving an ambulance and saving
lives; what about you?
8.A My dad
was a fireman, so the whole idea of racing around with sirens blaring
is tempered with the knowledge that the life of a fireman is mostly boring
-- lots of waiting around, and lots of mundane, small fires.
To answer these next 14 questions, you should
think about a particular time you were thrilled.
this thrill in a nutshell, in one sentence. (there's time to expand later)
9.A A particular
moment in a live-action/animated film.
and when did it take place?
At a movie theater in the mid-1980s (unsure of the exact date).
me a bit about yourself around this time.
11.A I worked at a movie theater,
so I got a lot of free passes to movies. The theater I worked at was an
art cinema, so I was a bit of a pretentious film snob, though deep down,
I really liked cartoons.
did the moment arise? Was it planned?
12.A It wasn't
impulsive. I had access to free movie passes, and probably planned a day
or two in advance to see the film.
the sequence of events leading up to your thrill, and how you felt at
each stage. The smallest detail could be important (this is your chance
13.A The movie was Walt Disney's "Song
of the South", in its last theatrical release before being pulled
from distribution. (Today, you can't even get it on video in the U.S.)
surprised that the film was being screened at all, since it is widely
considered to be racist. The film is set in the post-Civil War south,
and is based on the stories of Uncle Remus, sort of an 1800s African-American
version of Aesop.
I would say that it was exciting to be sitting
in a theater watching the film because there was a forbidden quality to
it due to so much negative publicity over the years. However, that said,
much of the live action was uncomfortable to watch -- it was very patronizing
to the black characters.
The moment of thrill came at what I call "the
threshold", where the viewer passes from the real world into the
fantasy world. Uncle Remus begins telling a story about Brer Rabbit, and
the camera pulls in slowly to his face. The camera holds on an extreme
close-up -- a very peculiar shot, as his dark skin shines unnaturally.
Still in the same shot, the camera pulls out, revealing that he is no
longer in the real world, but walking along an animated road, with Brer
Rabbit bounding along beside him.
I was spellbound and dumbfounded.
Song of the South
to go on sale in 2006... [more]
the exact moment of thrill, how did your mind and body feel?
14.A Like I had stepped into heaven.
I wasn't sitting in a movie theater anymore, that's for sure.
thoughts were going through your head?
15.A My thoughts
when I see something technically excellent on a movie screen are usually
"Oh, that's well done." This time, it was more like, "THIS
did you do immediately afterwards?
the rest of the movie, which was a bit of a letdown.
were the most likely things that could have put you off going through
17.A The racism
of the film.
were other people important to your thrill?
were probably a half a dozen people in the theater at most; they weren't
important at all.
do you imagine other people were thinking throughout your thrilling episode?
19.A I doubt they were as rapturously transported
people probably don't understand how such a thing can thrill you; explain
it to them.
if you got up in the morning, got dressed, and opened your front door
to discover your house had been transported to Mars.
were certain objects or equipment important to your thrill?
as it was in a movie theater, there was plenty of equipment. It would
not have been the same on a video screen -- it had to unfold on a big
you've done something like this before, how does the last time compare
to the first time you did it?
22.A I have seen comparable moments
in film and theme parks: in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", there
is a moment where the detective steels his nerves for a drive into Toontown,
and in Disneyland's "Pirates of the Caribbean" where you drop
down a waterfall. Once you know where that threshold is, it becomes less
thrilling when repeated.
If you did it again, what things could
be added or changed to make it even better?
23.A It's impossible to
know in advance how novelty will thrill you.