Winter has well and truly come to The Heatley Cliff. Last week we were all about our comfort reads. This week, we are continuing our theme of things to do when it’s snowing outside, the temperature is frigid and Fassy – our beloved but often ill tempered chef – gives up and makes a bunt cake without any bizarre ingredients.
There are several ‘go to’ films that we show here in our screening room, and they are all well and good, especially when the weather is so horrendous. But the last time we pressed play on Jane Eyre (Charlotte Gainsbourg edition), we got to talking about what movies had brought us to this place. What were the movies of our childhood that turned us into the romance loving, period piece junkies that we are today?
Maybe it was Grease.
Grease was the first movie I remember loving and technically it WAS a costume drama – even the greatest skeptic must regard Rizzo as a tragic figure. But after that, the ’80s become murky territory. I liked E.T., but I didn’t love it. I enjoyed Gremlins and I adored The Goonies. But there was no Wall-E, no Iron Giant. No one was really pushing boundaries in the ’80s. Mostly, they were pushing shoulder pads and hi-top Reebocks and boobs. Yes, of course the ’80s belong to John Hughes, who some argue (convincingly) was the greatest filmaker of the teenage genre. I never really got into the John Hughes thing. Possibly I was too young, but more likely, I never found the guys all that attractive. Except Jake Ryan. Of course. But Judd Nelson? Emilio Estevez? No thanks.
I do believe though, that there is one seminal film which flips a switch. Obviously, that film is different for everyone. It opens our eyes and our hearts, and possibly makes our naughty bits tingle for the first time. It takes us from The Last Starfighter to Some Kind Of Wonderful (the only John Hughes film I actually did like).
For me this film was Empire Of The Sun. The setting was a Japanese Internment camp in WWII. It was epic. It was Speilberg, so the narrative was captivating and magical. It also starred the very first boy that this gal ever had a crush on. Christian Bale. Yes, I am well aware of what became of Christian Bale. No need to go into it other than you will never find him roaming the halls of The Heatley Cliff. But back then, I was Mad Hatter crazy about him. I cried buckets in that movie. All 26 times I watched it. It was the first time I felt true empathy for a character. It was the first time a movie hit close to home and touched me. After that, there was no going back. My movie tastes had changed. I would always love magic and sci fi. But there had to be some kind of a love story there, even if it was only implied (okay,
so if we’re being technical, in Empire of The Sun the love story happened entirely in my own brain with CB, another first.)
If there was a love story, no matter how silly the film, I was in. Hence the photo of the equally epic (for totally different reasons) Satisfaction. Remember this movie? Julia Roberts and Justine Bateman in a girl band? LIAM NEESON is the love interest! From there it was Mystic Pizza and Pretty Woman, Say Anything (the best of the bunch by a mile), The Lost Boys, Heathers, The Rachel Papers, Dirty Dancing, She’s Out Of Control (I so wanted to be that girl), Lucas, A Night In The Life Of Jimmy Reardon and finally, even though it was 1994, I must include and conclude with Reality Bites, because that movie seemed to change all the rules too.
What was your flip the switch movie? Please share and then come and have a listen to us talk about this nostalgia heavy topic here, this week at the Heatley Cliff.