After snagging some free cookies from Cristina Tosi's incredibly nice mom, we went to see Gremlins at BAM. Among the many pleasures of watching movies from our childhood on the big screen are recognizing character actors from other roles (why, hello, Jonathan Banks and Glynn Turman) and recollecting the merchandise tie-ins we made our parents buy (whatever happened to our own fluffy Gizmo? What about his pink Corvette? Our Stripe action figure? All lost to the ravages of time, just like Mr. Banks's hair.).
The greatest pleasure, however, is also the saddest: movies like Gremlins and E.T. have held up over the past --- gulp --- three decades in part because they're so rich with subtext. E.T. is about loss and leavetaking; Gremlins about our relentless pursuit of the idealized Christmas, as well as our inability to control our urges. They've survived because they're not really kids movies after all.