M is for the Movies

This is such a broad topic that it’s been a bit daunting for me. I think the broadness of the topic gave me writers block, but I decided today to just sit down and do it! I don’t think that any article I write could hope to do full justice to this topic, unless I wrote something the length of the Bible, but there is no doubt about it – movies have played a massive role in the development of popular culture.

Maybe the way to go about this is to just discuss some of the movies that have had a great influence in my life. Even that is a subject which is almost too big to take on! There are so many. Grease, Dirty Dancing (covered in a post of its own)

You built a time machine out of a DeLorean?

One of them is the now cult classic Back to the Future. It kind of makes me feel old to think that one of my favourite movies is a cult classic. But – there it is. Back to the Future is just awesome in every way. It starred Michael J Fox, and in 1985, who could resist a movie that featured a DeLorean as a Time Machine, went back 30 years to what was a fabulous era – the 50s – and then, in the second movie, went FORWARD to the future. I think one of the reasons it’s become a classic is that we still haven’t reached the future of BTTF – we are all still waiting to see whether cars fly and skateboards hover in 2015 (despite all the internet memes that the day has arrived, it hasn’t. The big day will be October 21st, 2015!

Mamma said life is like a box of chocolates. You never
know what you’re gonna get. 

Another of my favourites is Forrest Gump. And if you ask me why, I’d have to tell you I don’t know. The movie has some of everything. Love, war, triumph of the underdog, awesome scenery, and Tom Hanks – who as Forrest brings across an incredible portrayal of a character who faces many different scenarios and roles. The music in the movie is incredible too. I walked three times to the cinema to see it and got it on DVD when it came out. Forrest Gump I guess was just something that made you believe a better life was possible.

There’s something about going to the MOVIES, though, that makes the whole experience amazing. There’s probably no better way to sum it up than to play this song from Annie, which although it may be a bit cheesy, tells how I feel. And Annie itself is a bit of a cult classic now too which makes it even more fitting.

“Let’s go to the movies, let’s go see the stars”.. I guess that about sums it up. We’ve a fascination with the rich and famous.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was still all this fanfare about movies?

The movies themselves obviously have influence on popular culture. One that comes to mind is “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring James Stewart. (may be a bit of a vague reference, but for decades after just about every family watched It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas). I was watching Home Alone 2, ANOTHER classic and saw the family in Home Alone watching it!

Some less than intelligent ways that movies impact culture are in the animal world – after Finding Nemo, a spike came in the popularity of clown fish, after Lassie, a spike in the popularity of the collie – the problem comes in when the recipient can’t or won’t care for the animal.

And who can forget the awesome trend of the 80s, breakdancing? Most certainly inspired by the movies Flashdance and Footloose. It made all the boys in school who could do it seem very attractive to me.

In Project X of 2012, a group of teenagers have a party in the absence of their parents. The party quickly gets out of control – drugs, guns and a whole neighbourhood fire ensure. Stupidly, according to the website Listverse.com, many kids are emulating this. DRugs, guns, taking over empty buildings – and the problem is widespread, so much so that Warner Brothers issued a statement along the lines of “Guys. It’s a movie. Knock it off.”

To round off the article with a local context, I’m always reminded of the old Jeremy Taylor song Ag Pleez Daddy when I think of the movies. 

Ag pleez deddy won’t you take us to the drive-in
All six, seven of us, eight, nine, ten
We wanna see a flick about
Tarzan and the Ape-men
And when the show is over you can bring us back again

Chorus:
Popcorn, chewing gum, peanuts and bubble gum
Ice cream, candy floss and Eskimo Pie … and I won’t go on, because it gets a bit rude 🙂

And there – I wrote my M is for Movies post, which shows that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

Related posts