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The Movie Lover's Guide to the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
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“We are born at a given moment, in a given place, and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.”
“We think of stars as celestial beings. And once in a while, they smile at us from the pages of People magazine.”
—A. E. HOTCHNER
WE LIVE IN AN AMAZING AGE. Never before has humanity had so much astrological information at its fingertips. The number of websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, and software devoted to the study of the stars is unprecedented. Similarly, we have access to more movies now than ever before. The majority of Hollywood’s staggering one-hundred-plus-year output—along with international and independent films—is available for browsing, streaming, and downloading at the click of a button. Not to mention the deluge of celebrity that confronts us from all corners, all day and all night.
For movie fans and devotees of astrology, this wealth of information and entertainment makes us feel like kids in a cosmic candy store. It’s wonderful—but it’s a little overwhelming! Who has time to absorb every detail about the heavenly bodies that influence our daily lives? And who could possibly watch every single motion picture out there?
Dear reader, welcome to Cinemastrology: the art and the science of selecting movies based on your zodiac sign. As a celestial cinemaven (both an astrologer and a movie expert), I have done the hard work for you. Using an astute understanding of what makes each of the twelve signs tick, combined with a vast knowledge of classic and contemporary cinema, I have created the ultimate guidebook to the stars in your horoscope and the stars on the screen. And it’s easy. All you need is a birthday and a passion for film entertainment.
Movies, just like everything else on this planet, fall under the auspices of the celestial orbs that travel across our skies. For millennia, stargazers have looked upward to find patterns that relate to their lives. In fact, astrology predates recorded history. Because the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars move in predictable paths, early thinkers in Babylon, Egypt, and Greece posited that the movements of these heavenly bodies coincided with earthly events. “As above, so below” became the credo for the connection between the glimmering night skies and the ground beneath our feet.
The zodiac (a word that means “circle of animals”) originated through years of observation. Past civilizations noticed that those born around the same time of year shared some remarkably similar personality traits. Using twelve major constellations as guideposts, the ancients devised a system of interpretation that’s been refined over the centuries into modern astrology. Today, we have an accurate idea of the ways in which the cosmic energies influence our world and even our very personalities. A common misconception is that astrology suggests that we are controlled by forces beyond our free will, but this isn’t how it works. Longtime Hollywood astrologer Carroll Righter put it best when he said, “The stars impel, they don’t compel. What you make of your life depends on you.”
If you’re new to astrology, you’re about to meet a glamorous all-star cast. The ten celestial bodies used in basic astrology are: the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Each planet rules (influences) at least one of the twelve signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Every sign relates to one of the four elements: creative, passionate fire; practical, steady earth; cerebral, sociable air; or emotional, intuitive water.
Astrology goes much deeper than this. Those who are already astro-experts know the complexities of ascendants, aspects, houses, quadruplicities, and so forth. For the purposes of this book, though, we will stick to sun signs.
The sun is the force that goes the farthest toward defining our identity. It’s the cornerstone of popular astrology. The sun is not the only factor in our astrological makeup—far from it! Each person has a unique birth chart based on his or her exact time and place of birth. But the sun sign is the one everyone knows. It’s the simplest to determine, and the one we give when anyone asks, “What’s your sign?” Since British astrologer R. H. Naylor began popularizing sun signs in 1930, the population of the Western world has been reading horoscopes in magazines and wearing Leo medallions around their necks. This is sun-sign astrology at work.
Hollywood—the film business and the community of those who work in it—has a history of conjoining the stars. In the 1930s, a craze for astrology emerged in movies like the horoscope-themed thriller Thirteen Women (1932), and When Were You Born (1938), starring Anna May Wong as an astrologer. The cycle continued into the 1940s with The Heavenly Body (1944), with Hedy Lamarr as an astronomer’s wife who is a closet astrology addict. The experimental 1970s gave us the cult oddity The Astrologer (1976), featuring Craig Denney as a carnival mystic–turned–famous psychic. More recently, the crime drama Zodiac (2007) recounts the manhunt for the astrology-obsessed serial murderer dubbed the Zodiac Killer.
Off the screen, hordes of celebrities (Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Lana Turner, Tony Curtis, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan, to name a few from the past) have consulted astrologers to determine the most auspicious dates for career decisions, weddings, and even conceiving children. In the 1950s and ’60s, Tinseltown saw a trend for zodiac parties, at which no names were used, only astrological designations: “Miss Aries, meet Mr. Libra.”
For those of us noncelebrities in the audience, it’s natural to observe links between movies and the people who make them. Astrology offers a blueprint for these connections. Obviously, filmmakers put their own personal stamps on their creations. An Aquarius director (John Hughes, for example) will not invariably make films that appeal to all Aquarius-born viewers, but will often make a typically Aquarian film (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off , for example).
The astrology of the performers also factors in. Actors (especially big stars with clout) rarely fall into movies by chance; they are either drawn to the story due to personal reasons, or they were cast because they naturally exude some attributes of the characters they play. It’s no accident that comedian Jim Carrey (a Capricorn born on January 17) played comedian Andy Kaufman (also a Capricorn born on January 17) in the biopic Man on the Moon (1999). Screen actors and actresses shape the tone and flavor of a movie with their distinct personas, leaving fingerprints on the finished product as much as a writer or director does.
In their personal lives and in public interviews, celebrities (just like the rest of us) exhibit qualities inherent in their zodiac signs. It can be fascinating to witness. Is it any wonder, for instance, that Tom Hanks once said: “I always look up at the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos.” No wonder at all, considering he is a Cancer, a romantic sign ruled by the moon. When asked if she thought astrology was legitimate, Gemini Joan Collins replied, “Half of me believes, the other half doesn’t.” Spoken like a true twin. Some stars even directly attribute their personas to their sun signs, like self-critical Virgo-born Keanu Reeves, who has confessed, “I’m a Virgo; it’s in my sign to be hard on myself.”
A note about cusps: Those born on the cusp (the day the sun changes from one sign to another) are not a combination of both signs—they are one or the other, depending on their exact time of birth. (Also, the dates for each sign can shift slightly from year to year, so if you’re born on the cusp, it’s a good idea to have your birth chart drawn up to see where exactly your sun falls.) The cusp-born, however, are typically imbued with a few characteristics of their neighboring sign. Scarlett Johansson, born on November 22, is a fiery, outspoken Sagittarius lady, but she clearly exhibits some seductive Scorpio traits as well.
The book in your hands will illuminate the sun-sign secrets of some of the cinema’s biggest stars, movies, and moviemakers. But the main star of Cinemastrology is you! Why not let the celestial signposts guide you to your next cinematic adventure? You’ll find new flicks, rediscover forgotten favorites, make film-viewing plans with a friend or date, see familiar movies from a new perspective, and even learn a few things about yourself along the way.
What unique qualities lead you to enjoy the movies you enjoy? What titles turn a Taurus on? What genres bring joy to a Gemini? What screenings star Sagittarian celebrities? In the pages that follow, I will unearth all of these mysteries and more.
No matter what sign you were born under, to get the most from this book, it’s best to read all twelve sections. After all, a great movie will appeal to a wide audience, so it’s safe to assume that you’ll find appropriate recommendations in every corner of the zodiac.
Happy viewing! See you among the stars.
THERE’S A REASON THAT RAMS HAVE HORNS—they confront, they butt, they push until they get their way. Those born under Aries the ram, a fire sign ruled by the warrior planet Mars, are bold, assertive trailblazers who like to do things first. (They made it to the number-one spot in the zodiac, didn’t they?) Because the spring equinox kicks off the astrological year, those who entered the world during the first burst of springtime are the babies of the zodiac, forever young, eternally playful, and unceasingly curious. This youthful energy charmingly compensates for any pushiness or aggression Aries natives may occasionally display when they step on a few toes to get to the finish line first. Their need to win the race of life means they’re always in a hurry. If they lose, expect to see flashes of their fiery temper. But they usually grab the gold.
Naturally, rams like a lot of action in their lives and on the screen. Aries, this doesn’t mean your taste is confined to Chuck Norris movies (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It means a long, slow, cinematic talk-fest won’t have you dashing to the multiplex. An exciting story and a fast pace make your pulse race. Throw in an impressive display of physical strength and you’re in heaven. Think of Steve McQueen (an Aries) in Bullitt (1968), sliding into his Mustang and pushing the pedal to the metal in a daring car chase; or Russell Crowe (another Aries) reluctantly but brutally battling his opponent to the death in Gladiator (2000); or Gal Gadot stopping bullets in their tracks as she struts across no-man’s-land in Wonder Woman (2017). War movies also fall into your realm, Aries. Check out The Dirty Dozen (1967), Patton (1970), and The Hurt Locker (2008) to get your fix of battlefield brutality.
But not so fast. Your reputation as a hot-blooded brawler is only half the story. Each sign of the zodiac governs a different part of the body, and Aries’s domain is the head and the brain. That means you’re a thinker as well as a fighter; you have a side that’s more cerebral than others often suspect. Thought-provoking tales about the wonders of the human mind—Being John Malkovich (1999), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Arrival (2016), to name a few—stimulate those Aries brain cells.
Fire fuels creative passions. As a fire sign, Aries, you sizzle with creativity, and your mind is overflowing with ideas (you’ll notice that the glyph for your sign looks like the horns of a ram, but also resembles a flowing fountain). So you may appreciate innovative animation along the lines of Up (2009), skillful physical comedy as performed by the masterful Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936), and even a good, splashy musical, à la the savage, sultry Chicago (2002)—anything that moves, takes unexpected turns, and not only grabs your visual attention, but holds it.
How has the sign of Aries impacted the art of motion pictures? Take a look at the work of Francis Ford Coppola, Roger Corman, Stanley Donen, Curtis Hanson, Akira Kurosawa, David Lean, Kenny Ortega, Quentin Tarantino, and Edgar Wright—a few Aries filmmakers who have set movie screens on fire with their thrilling, adventurous, sometimes violent and controversial, but always entertaining, visions. In addition to the suggestions below, you may want to explore the output of these directors, observing how their ram energies are vibrantly expressed through the medium of film.
Aries Adrenaline Fests
Only an Aries (director/producer/cowriter Francis Ford Coppola, born April 7) could take Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad’s 1899 literary critique of colonialism), place it smack in the middle of one of America’s grisliest and most dismal conflicts, and end up with such an audaciously engaging epic, infused with black humor and a rockin’ soundtrack to boot. In every scene, the horror of war meets the style of the ’60s, as seen through the lens of the late ’70s. Enduring destructive weather, budgetary catastrophes, the Aries temperament of megastar Marlon Brando, and the near-fatal heart attack of lead actor Martin Sheen, Coppola not only delivered a masterpiece but set a trend with Apocalypse Now, one of the earliest entries in the Vietnam War–movie genre. It’s a head trip tailor-made for the headiest of signs.
KUNG FU HUSTLE
Talk about fast-paced. Stephen Chow’s irreverent crime/action/comedy/martial-arts mash-up leaves no space for a single second of boredom. It’s a Jackie Chan movie meets Moulin Rouge! (2001) meets The Matrix (1999)—yet it creates a unique world all its own, a video-game-ish version of 1940s China in which heroic Sing (Stephen Chow) aspires to be a major badass. Beneath the butterfly kicks and the cartoon-like surface, Kung Fu Hustle cannily explores some deeper ideas about society and destiny. The more mature Aries audience will appreciate the statements about karma and standing up to oppression, while the younger crowd will be knocked silly by the visual fireworks. Appealing for rams of all ages.
Aries Date Movies
Aries, you can canoodle with the best of them—as long as you don’t have to sit through a predictably sappy romantic drama. For your next date night, cozy up to outlaw Steve McQueen and his impulsive wife Ali MacGraw as they rob a Texas bank and speed toward the Mexican border in Sam Peckinpah’s eight-cylinder chase flick. Fun fact: Lead actor and actress fell head-over-heels in love and left their spouses for each other during the making of this film; they got divorces and married the following year. You guessed it—McQueen and MacGraw were both born under the sign of the ram. You’ll witness their chemistry firsthand in The Getaway, along with a few explosions, gobs of gunplay, and a supercool score from Quincy Jones.
Wild thing, you make my heart sing. And in matters of the heart, Mars-ruled lovers can be abrupt, uninhibited, and even a little bit wild, just like Jonathan Demme’s edgy ’80s rom-com. Free-spirited fireball Melanie Griffith is the titular “something wild” who knocks Jeff Daniels’s yuppie socks off when she basically kidnaps him from his executive rut, has her way with him in a motel, and spins his life out of control in her green GTO convertible. Soon, she even has him on the run from the law—and from her psychotic ex (Ray Liotta)—as their road-trip fling escalates into true love. It’s a sexy, unpredictable romantic fantasy, right up the Aries alley.
BEVERLY HILLS COP
Rams stick up for themselves and never stop fighting for what’s right. They also have a naughty but playful sense of humor. Aries Eddie Murphy embodies all these qualities in his first solo leading role as streetwise Detroit cop Axel Foley. When his buddy gets killed by drug lords, Axel head-butts his way into the Beverly Hills Police Department, throwing out rules with gleeful abandon and pulling Bugs Bunny–style tricks until he nails the baddies. Shoving bananas into tailpipes, disguising stakeouts as picnics, and luring buttoned-down cops (Judge Reinhold and John Ashton) to a strip club, the prankster prevails where the law fails. Originally intended for Sylvester Stallone, Beverly Hills Cop made Murphy a major star when it topped the box office for the year (eventually becoming the highest-grossing comedy in history), and even snared an Oscar nom for Best Original Screenplay.
Critic Roger Ebert once described writer/director Guy Ritchie’s style as “Tarantino crossed with the Marx Brothers,” and Snatch delivers exactly that: a gritty crime underworld saturated with nonstop humor. Beneath the banter, brawling, and F-bombs is a clever plot that twists in a million directions—all the better to hold the Aries attention. Brad Pitt steals the show as a hilariously incomprehensible boxer who can’t throw a fight if his life depends on it—ideal for tickling the Aries funny bone. Thanks to Ritchie’s way with one-liners, the colorful London thugs jump right off the screen as they scramble for an enormous stolen diamond. Rams will enjoy the slapstick brutality, but half the fun for Americans is wading through the Cockney slang to decipher the dialogue. Repeat viewings are a must.
Aries Confrontation Classics
Frustrated Aries male William Holden goes head to head (and horn to horn) with fiery Aries female Gloria Swanson in Billy Wilder’s dark, sardonic Hollywood noir—and the sparks fly. When these two egos tango, a washed-up screenwriter meets a dismal fate and an ex–silent screen star is finally, tragically, ready for her close-up. Does anybody really win in the end? And yet, the smoldering of thwarted passions and the scintillatingly witty repartee make it oh-so-much fun while it lasts. Exposing the dark underbelly of fame has never been so funny, nor so desperately sad. “We didn’t need dialogue,” Swanson boasts as the forgotten Norma Desmond. “We had faces.” What an Aries thing to say.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
Take the Hollywood Gothic vibe of Sunset Boulevard, ramp it up to a ridiculous level, and add two super-divas, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. What do you get? A one-of-a-kind bitches’ brew of macabre camp: the historic screen-pairing of legendary Aries rivals Bette and Joan. Both A-list luminaries from the early 1930s through the 1950s, these headstrong lady rams dissed each other for decades, ever since they competed for the affections of actor Franchot Tone in 1935. Joan got the man, but Bette got the Oscar nod for Baby Jane. When they fight it out on film, hair is pulled, faces are slapped, and rats are served for dinner. Hell hath no fury like an Aries scorned.
- On Sale
- Jun 2, 2020
- Page Count
- 240 pages
- Running Press