“Hey You Guys!” New Wave at 5o, 80s at 25

August 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm (Uncategorized)

2010 marks high- low-, and midbrow film classic anniversaries; French New Wave films reach 5o, the Goonies hit 25, and John Hughes teen classics hover in the quarter century range.  Reviewing films you loved as a child can be tricky territory like getting back together with an ex–you start to wonder why you loved it so much the first time around, question your past memories, and you often chalk it up to youthful digressions.  But, all films, and exes, are not created equal.  I wanted to test my favorite classics at 30 to see if they held up.  To be safe, I thought it was best to start celebrating this year’s film anniversaries with a 1960 classic I had never seen.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (“À Bout de Souffle”), a restored version of the film with new subtitles screened for one week only in the DC area at the AFI, Sivler Spring (the best cinema in “DC” located in Maryland). There were only seven people at the Monday night showing, but the weirdness and coolness of mid-century French New Wave was present.  It was my first time seeing the film, but I had read about the play on Hollywood cliché: the brooding, handsome, lead French actor with his cigarette and fedora, the attractive American blonde wearing his pinstripe, white collared shirt post-orgasm.  Actually, the Mad Men (hooray for the return of Season 4!) craze makes watching the 60s aesthetic seem fresh, hip, and very now.  Check out the old trailer for the film here.  All in all, I was thrilled to have the chance to see this film on the big screen.
Meanwhile, rewatching The Goonies as an adult was a bit disappointing.  I couldn’t believe how cheesy it was.  This kid classic that is imprinted in the brains of all 80s babies was so, well, Spielberg cheese.  I’m sorry to say that the Goonies, as much as I loved it as a kid, did not hold up the test of time.  The saving grace of rewatching the cult flick?  This scene made me LOL after all these years.
the goonies
John Hughes films have weathered a bit better.  Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc. are also reposted to the big screen this month at AFI, Silver Spring.
After the aged Brat Pack-led tribute to the late director at the Oscars, AFI honors the best of 80s teen cinema by screening all of Hughes’ classic works.  I mean this amazing scene from Pretty in Pink still makes me smile.  I’d take “a little tenderness” form Duckie– then and now!  There are numerous websites and tributes to John Hughes’ films, and while many of us where on the young side when these movies were released they have survived well proving that there is still a little bit of a red-head, insecure, teenage girl inside us all.

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