Just read this great post on RogerEbert.com, by Matt Zoller Seitz, detailing how he decided to show Aliens to his 11 year old son and his group of friends. It's a great post, full of funny details about watching a film with a group of kids. I loved how he said he couldn't get them to stop predicting what was going to happen next, and that they are part of a 'generation of talkers'.
"This movie has so many cliches in it," a boy said when Colonial Marines disembarked the drop ship and made their way through rainy darkness to enter the alien-infested colony. My son told him, "This movie was made in 1986. It invented all the cliches."
That concept of seeing something that either kick started a franchise or a style of filmmaking, after you've seen all the crap that followed, it something quite powerful. Often it's absolutely refreshing to bask in the quality and originality of what came first. It's like discovering a time capsule, looking at something that is untouched with what followed it. It's like it carries some sort of innocence around its own existence, and it doesn't know what you know. Quite a strange feeling.
Of course, writing on a public blog and stating you showed a classic sci-fi/action/horror film to a group of kids, who are obviously under the recommended age to watch it, has led to quite a bit of blowback from commenters calling him irresponsible, a bad father etc. Which is understandable, although I feel that watching a film like that with a group of friends and your Dad, is a great way to overcome what could be far scarier if watching alone. There was a great comment serving, I'm sure, as a nice antidote to Matt feeling like he was a bad father.
One other theme this post covers nicely is that feeling of not experiencing something for the first time ever again, which is something that does excite me as a father watching all these great films with my own son.
And as we watched, I realized again that while unfortunately you can't see a great movie again for the first time, the next-best thing is to show it to people who've never seen it.