Monday, January 24, 2005

oh man, has it been 20 yrs already? the Sacramento Bee published this story about the 20 yr anniversary of the movie The Breakfast Club. 20 yrs ago I was 17 and just learning to read, I mean read seriously, and make my attempt at writing, at the time, fiction. well, a little fiction. I was not so influenced by sci-fi writers, tho I read a lot of them at the time, but horror writers. I dunno, there was/is something mystical in a good scare, even metaphysical about the threats of the unknown that still appeals to me. and somehow, I can't explain it quite, but reading Lovecraft opened the way toward poetry.

however, John Hughes's movie The Breakfast Club is a decent film, I've seen it oh I dunno how many times. but it is not the quintessential teen flick as reported today in the Bee. too many stereotypes, too much youthful angst: pity poor me, my parents just don't understand. James Dean did it better 30 yrs before when the word teenager was just starting to be used as a kind of pop psychological jargon for the malady of being young.

no, for me the teen flick, other than a goofy summer movie like Meatballs starring the wonderful Bill Murray, is Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a film based on a series of articles written by Cameron Crowe and published in Rolling Stone. now that is a flick. it has everything, even the goofy high of being young, carefree and stupid. no angst that I can directly pinpoint at least. but there ain't no stereotypes. yes, I know what you are gonna say, what about Sean Penn's character Jeff Spicoli, isn't he a stereotype? naw, cuz I've never met a person like Spicoli. until after the movie that is, then every stoner wanted to surf and talk just like him. and the film got what Hughes's flick lacks: a deep sense of the absurd. such as Judge Reinhold's character wanting to break up with his girlfriend but panicks instead when she beats him to it, and suddenly he can't live without her. that is realism. and we've all had a teacher that acted and looked like Mr Hand.

so what does it all mean. nothing except I recall watching The Breakfast Club after smoking a couple of bowls, feeling a bit charged from the experience, but going home to reread Orwell and rent, again, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I just can't help but trip on how quickly 20 yrs done gone by.


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