🎬 #46 Vampires, Skateboards and The Comfort Of Nostalgia.
When you decide to watch a film there are two choices. See something new or revisit an old favourite. If you opt for the later you’re usually pulled in by the comfort of knowing want you’re going to get and the journey you’re going to go on. The familiar story beats are as enjoyable and reassuring as a childhood meal or seeing an old friend.
There is safety in the familiar. A direct connection to the fondness with which you look back on the point in life when you first saw it. This effect is even more powerful if the film you’re revisiting is from your childhood, just like the two films I’m recommending this week. These take me back to the 90’s, surrounded by family, laying on the living room floor - fresh from a visit to our town’s video shop - the outfits are shell suits, the weather outside is as warm as Ireland gets in the summer and the play button on the VHS is just about to be pressed.
Happy choosing, happy viewing
FILM ONE: THE LOST BOYS
1987 Dir Joel Schumacher
It’s interesting to talk about nostalgia in relation to a movie where most of the characters in the film never have to worry about time the same way as us mortals. They’ll stay the same age, forever, caught in a life where everyone else changes and matures up - they, however, are suspended in the 'funnest’ period of a lifespan - partying with friends without a thought for the seemingly infinite future that lies ahead them.
When you’re a young kid, you kind of think like a vampire. That maybe everything you’re doing right now will somehow last forever. The concept of time passing feels much slower than when you’re older and even the idea of growing up feels more abstract - like ‘that won’t happen to me, I’ll somehow be different. Now let me watch The Lost Boys for the 42nd time.’ The rustle of shell suit trouser almost muffling my impatient demands.
And so the film The Lost Boys, like all films, is a time capsule. I can press play - simultaneously revisit my childhood and yet see a style of cinema and story perfectly preserved. I can revisit actors who remain ageless, a director just about to hit the height of his career, wardrobe that never fades out of style, cinematographic styles, music trends, all frozen in time - just like the cool, pale skinned, leather clad vampires in Joel Schumacher’s coming of age vampire tale.
TL;DR why should I spend 1 hrs 37 mins of my precious life watching this? Watch Schumacher’s film and get a hit of comforting nostalgia that will see you through these darker winter nights - or see it for the first time and wonder why you’d never seen it before.
*Available for a small rental fee on Amazon, Chili, Google Play, Sky Store and Apple TV.
Fact: This was the first film the ‘two Corey’s’ starred in together.
Bonus: Gerard McMahon’s iconic song ‘Cry Little Sister’ was written after just reading the script.
FILM TWO: GLEAMING THE CUBE
1989 Dir Graeme Clifford
Christian Slater’s Brian was my hero for a long time, even though I never really did get the hang of skateboarding. Like The Lost Boy’s, this film was a familiar presence around the VHS player. A coming of age film that sees Brian discover a government conspiracy while doing really cool tricks on a skateboard. This is the kind of amazingly brash synopsis only a late 80’s film can have. It owns it, knows what it is and doesn't try hard to be anything else. You can almost imagine the executives giving notes on an early version of the script - skateboarding is cool, what about if he had a skateboard and a cross earring? The screenwriters left the meeting and faithfully executed to the commercial demands of the time.
This film captures that endless summer feeling that is as close to an analogue of childhood summers as I can think of. Again Brian is preserved anytime I want to revisit it. He’s still in the style he wants to dress in, still doing the thing he loves most in the world. He doesn’t have to grow up and face the changing reality of what the world has in store for him as he moves into his late teens, twenties and beyond.
Though maybe that’s why doing/looking for what you love for the rest of your life leads to so much happiness, it means we can stay the same even though time and all those around us skate by, yet we remain preserved by the pursuit.
TL;DR why should I spend 1 hrs 45 mins of my precious life watching this? Watch Christian Slater’s Brian carve his way through an action-packed skateboarding tale.
*Available for a small rental fee on Amazon.
Fact: Tony Hawk has a small part as a Pizza Hut delivery guy.
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