Tuesday, 21 September 2010

In which Vole catches up with popular culture

In mourning for my wrecked MacBook, I beached myself on the sofa last night, unable to read, knit or craft matchstick models of Notre Dame (my usual nocturnal activities), and found myself watching The Breakfast Club after Water Lilies (which is less immediately interesting because it's proper art) had finished.

I'd never seen it before - it's one of those teen movies apparently beloved of my generation, but having parents who didn't take us to the cinema and believed that television was only worthwhile if it screened an omnibus edition of that week's Angelus, it passed me by.

What did I think? Emotionally manipulative, all the psychological depth of a fortune cookie, incoherent narrative and deeply cynical. By and large, I quite enjoyed it, until the fateful moment when Ally Sheedy's character was made over from a gamine goth to horrible 80s suburban 50s beauty queen - and this was presented as a good thing, the start of a wonderful new life! Ugh - hegemony strikes again.

I mean really, from this:

to this?


Zoot Horn said...

She looks like somebody iced her.

The Plashing Vole said...

Horrifying, isn't it?

Sinéad said...

I'm loving the image of an omnibus edition of the Angelus! And really, this wasn't a movie that you wanted to go see with your folks anyway.

There's something about watching movies as a grown-up that were iconic when you were a kid. If you saw (and identified with/loved) them when you were younger, then in general, you'll retain that view of them as an adult, even if your more critical mind tears it down around you... If, on the other hand, you never saw it as a kid, then you'll come to it as a critical adult and probably just won't get it. The Goonies is a case in point.

The Plashing Vole said...

There's a lot in that, Sinéad. I am lacking in nostalgia, as we weren't allowed much TV as kids, so discussions of Rhubarb and Custard leave me cold.

That said, the Goonies seems to work as light entertainment, and I've got a huge amount of respect for The Gremlins. The first film is an allegory for adolescence, and the second one is an explicit attack on 1980s capitalism. Favourite lines include the Gremlin who mutates into a stockbroker: 'I advise you to invest in shotguns and canned goods' and the intellectual one: 'What is it you want out? 'The same things everyone else wants - New York, nuclear weapons, Susan Sontag'. This must be the only monster reference to Sontag in entertainment history, and the Gremlin had the same white streak in his hair that she did.