• The Kingdom of Naples (1978)

It was my paternal grandmother, a working-class child of the Depression, who got me into going to the movies—or “the show,” as she called them. When she was growing up, moviegoing was habitual and movies served a variety of purposes. Some satisfied the common hunger for a good story and charismatic stars; others taught you about history or connected you to high culture. (Two of the last films we saw together were The Pianist and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.) Through the latter type, she discovered an interest in painting (Lust for Life), theater (adaptations of Shakespeare and Odets), and ballet (The Turning Point); the radio turned her on to opera and symphonic music. One of her favorite expressions was “I’ve got champagne taste but only beer money.”