15 August 2006

american graffiti

i saw "american graffiti" this past week at the outdoor movie festival in grant park. holy shit! go do this if you have a chance. we sat almost directly in front of the projection truck, the beautiful chicago skyline on the left, a (almost) full-moon on the right, clouds weaving in and out. there's nothing more fun that watching a comedy on a blanket on the grass and laughing along with thousands of other people who also happen to be there. a unique movie experience, to be sure.

now, the movie. it reminds you that george lucas did indeed know how to make movies once, right? and by which i mean he knew how to write believable dialogue and let his actors actually act. the movie is written well, and i think a part of what makes this movie so successful is that it is so personal -- this is george lucas reliving his own teenage years, which of course are so specific and so concrete as to be universal. how many people these days go hot-rodding? how many people listen to wolfman jack? how many people go to a sock hop? but because he makes it about his very specific experiences, it becomes more.

one other thing to say about the movie: the soundtrack! i grew up in the 80's, and for whatever reason, the 80's had a big hard-on for the 50's. so when i was a young boy, i heard a lot of 50's music -- early rock and roll shit. listening to the soundtrack for american graffiti takes me right back to being a kid, listening to those songs around the house on our old sleek silver hi-fi or on our way to fairfield in my mom's shitty toyota tercel. the soundtrack seems like pure nostalgia to me, and it is weaved into every nook and cranny of the movie. it reminds me of "goodfellas" or "boogie nights" -- wall to wall soundtracks give you a mood and an atmosphere that very few other techniques can. wonderful.


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

American Graffitti is indeed a great movie .. I haven't seen it for some time, and I think if I were to see it again I would just get super-depressed about just how far Mr. Lucas has fallen

3:52 PM  

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