Say Anything (1989)
Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut caught me by surprise. Boasting an energetic performance by a very young and exuberant John Cusack, Say anything is an interesting foray into the world of young romance Circa 1980 something.
The story follows Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) as he falls hopelessly in love with Diane Court (Ione Sky). The pair meet during high school graduation and all manner of relationship dynamics come into play.
Featuring a bold example of gender role reversal in 1980’s U.S. culture the film chronicles Lloyd’s attempts to woo the woman he loves, his subsequent continual rejections as Diane tries to stay focused on her career and the upset of the class divide between them when troubles arise with Diane’s father.
I found the entire film to be extraordinarily interesting and engaging, the director turns traditional romantic stereotypes on their head and reveals the tender side of male teenage head space.
Say anything represents an egalitarian attitude towards romantic idealism in film, something that I consider not only to be very entertaining but also unique in its delivery . The film premiered two years after Dirty Dancing, which was a throwback to an earlier era and mindset but was hugely popular and I consider Say Anything to be a sobering antidote to the usual female Cinderella stereotype. (Uhhmmm… Sixteen candles….yawn).
I highly recommend this film, it’s an absolute treat, especially for those of us who endured the DIRTY DANCING craze and subsequent or previous Cinderella style stereotypes in popular culture and film.
7 out of 10.
The Warriors (1979)
The warriors is an extremely interesting film with an equally intriguing history. Based on “Sol Yurick‘s 1965 novel of the same name. Like the novel, the film borrows elements from the Anabasis by Xenophon” – wikipedia
According to Wikipedia,
The following weekend the film was linked to sporadic outbreaks of vandalism and three killings – two in Southern California and one in Boston – involving moviegoers on their way to or from showings.
This prompted Paramount to remove advertisements from radio and television completely and display ads in the press were reduced to the film’s title, rating and participating theaters. In reaction, 200 theaters across the country added security personnel. Due to safety concerns, theater owners were relieved of their contractual obligations if they did not want to show the film, and Paramount offered to pay costs for additional security and damages due to vandalism.]
So it appears that The Warriors literally leaped onto the screen and into the imagination of its viewers, leaving quite an impact.
The film’s plot involves the shooting of a Gang leader at a meeting of Gangs in New York. One particular gang, “The Warriors” are falsely blamed for the shooting and have to make their way back to Coney island whilst relentlessly pursued by other gangs whilst passing through their turf and encountering run ins with the law as well.
Because the book and film both borrow heavily from the Anabasis the story is seen from a warlike or “soldier” perspective. The outcome being that we are not faced with moral imperatives, the Gangs are on a mission to get home and they are fighting their way back one little skirmish at a time.
Their morality differs from civilians because although they them self are civilian gangs they are fighting their own little war.
The film represents an interesting perspective and I consider it to be a very unique picture seemingly ahead of its time.
7 out of 10.