The Tao of Nicolas Cage: Nic Cage Appreciation Day

Isn’t it time we have a whole day dedicated to celebrating all that is Nicolas Cage?

“I am not a demon. I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther. I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion.”

The summer of 2017 marks a very special milestone for me, one that I’m going to safely assume many others out there share. This summer I will celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Nicolas Cage changing my life. I didn’t know it then, but in the summer of 1997 Cage wielded a mighty power, a power far greater than any I have experienced since. And that summer he made a profound impact.

To fully appreciate the situation we have to flashback to 1997, back when I was merely a stupid 11-year-old kid. At that point I was certainly aware of Nicolas Cage. I had seen him before and I’d venture to say I had watched a couple of his movies by then. Surely I had seen Raising Arizona. But I didn’t fully understand him as an actor. I probably didn’t understand anyone as an actor. I was a fan of characters at that time, guys like Freddy, Michael and so on.

During this time my family used to go to the drive-in pretty frequently on Friday and Saturday nights. It was fairly cheap, you’d get to see two movies and it was extremely easy to sneak people in. On Friday, June 27, 1997, my mom came home from work and I was very excited because I knew we were going to the drive-in that night. I didn’t know what we were going to see yet, but I was excited nonetheless. That excitement would quickly fade.

As we discussed our options, I quickly zeroed in on Batman & Robin. I wouldn’t even hear out any other suggestions because my heart was set. And why wouldn’t it be? It was a Batman movie…with Robin! What could go wrong? Nothing, right?

My parents, however, had different plans. They wanted to see a movie called Face/Off. I had no idea what Face/Off was, nor did I care. A hockey movie, I guess? Hockey is of no concern to me! Whatever it is, it ain’t Batman & Robin.

I fought and I screamed and I kicked. We had to see Batman & Robin. We just had to. No other movie would suffice. I wouldn’t allow for anything else! But alas, I was just a stupid 11-year-old and as such my opinion really didn’t matter. The decision was made and Face/Off was our movie.

On the way to the drive-in I continued to complain. As we settled into our parking spot I refused to let up. During the credits leading up to the feature presentation I could feel the disgust and anger within me rising up to unprecedented levels. I was on the verge of snapping, I just knew it. Two screens over I could see Batman & Robin, in all its colorful glory, and I screamed out as the salt was firmly planted on the wound. I was so close to what I desperately wanted and I was forced to settle for who knows what.

Despite my best efforts to channel Charlie McGee and set the reel on fire, the movie eventually started. My eyes were fixated on the screen as the opening credits began but the rage that had reached a boil deep inside me did not dwindle. This Face/Off movie opens with the murder of a child, an 11-year-old probably, and I knew this was some type of foreshadowing for the evening and this only made me angrier. But I’m respectful of movies, so I stuck with it.

It was in the airport runway scene that would soon follow where the audience truly meets Castor Troy for the first time and it was in this scene that my attitude would begin to change. Castor Troy, there was something about this guy. He was cool, a cool I had never seen before. I had to know more about him.

For the next two plus hours my eyes remained glued to that screen but the anger was completely gone. It was replaced with a thrill I had previously never experienced. Before my very eyes the greatest spectacle the world had ever witnessed was unfolding. What was I even watching? I didn’t know, I didn’t understand, but I loved every last minute of it.

From that moment forward I was a Nic Cage devotee. The following week my family would return to the drive-in and see Con Air, which had actually opened a few weeks before Face/Off. That would further support everything I felt after seeing Face/Off. I officially considered Nic Cage to be the greatest.

It’s funny to think about now, as I sit here writing up a weekly Nicolas Cage column, that I was forced into seeing Face/Off against my will. I did everything I could to avoid seeing this movie and yet it opened my eyes, expanded my mind and introduced me to a world I did not know existed. Since June 27, 1997 I have prayed at the altar of Nic Cage and there is no turning back. That my friends, that is the power, no, that is The Tao of Nicolas Cage!

When June 27, 2017 rolls around this is what I propose – Nic Cage Appreciation Day. Let’s spend this day celebrating the legend that is Nicolas Cage. The man changed my life forever, the least I could do is push for a holiday to be celebrated the world over to honor his legacy.

Holidays need traditions so luckily I’ve come up with a few that should get everyone started:

  • Wear a snakeskin jacket
  • Listen to Elvis and only Elvis
  • Do mushrooms, preferably with your cat
  • Decorate your house with various fossils
  • Have a Nic Cage marathon

Feel free to add your own traditions of course, but these 5 should get you headed in the right direction. The most important one is the marathon and that’s how you should wind your day down. The marathon should consist of a minimum of 3 movies and those movies can be of your choosing. Maybe you have your go-to Cage movies or maybe you want to mix it up. Whatever you choose is acceptable. The one rule to that is you have to end with Face/Off because that’s only fitting.

It’s also important that we separate the true believers from those that choose to mock him. If you only like Nic Cage ironically this day is not for you.

This isn’t a one day celebration either. I need to be very clear on that. This is a new holiday meaning every June 27th from here on out we celebrate Nic Cage Appreciation Day. Once it catches on we can call it Cage Day for short.

Independent theaters should participate too. Let’s get them to join in on the celebration and host the screenings. Film Bar in Phoenix, New Beverly in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Alamo Dratfhouses everywhere and so on. If you have a favorite independent theater reach out to them and tell them to celebrate #NicCageDay. That’s the official hashtag by the way. Use it.

We have the power to do this. We simply have to do it. So I ask you, from the bottom of my Cage-loving heart, won’t you join me in celebrating the first annual Nic Cage Appreciation Day on June 27, 2017?