Category Archives: Jenna’s Essays
Every generation has movies that define their childhoods. Typically, these are ones you ‘just had to be there’ to truly experience an unwavering, visceral nostalgia for. I was born in the 80’s, so if I had to make a master list of my own, just off the top of my head it’d probably include Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, The Lion King, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. But there are many 80‘s and early 90’s staples that I managed to miss completely—no, I didn’t grow up under a rock, but movies like The Princess Bride, Clueless, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone (okay, most everything by John Hughes) and Back to the Future are all ones I somehow managed to miss entirely.
But now, thanks to a friend who literally set up a private screening in a college lecture auditorium for me because he was so upset I hadn’t seen it, I have finally watched Back To The Future for the first time at the age of 27. And boy do I have questions.
John D’Amico: 63 roles in 23 years of acting. Where do you even begin? He absolutely hummed as Lancaster Dodd in The Master, as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. He has about a million solid movies you kinda forget about until you look at the long scroll of his filmography. How about State & Main? That was a very fun one, uplifted by his ability to be both campy and deeply believable at the same time. He elevated otherwise listless projects like Pirate Radio and Patch Adams—Jesus, he was even good in Patch fucking Adams! Watching Hoffman, even in a bad movie—hell, especially in a bad movie—you feel his talent almost as a physical presence in the room, a rush of light illuminating himself and everyone else.
Stalker (1979). Not all subtitled movies are this, people.
Personally, I’ve never understood the hatred people have for subtitles. Sure, there is a level of inconvenience that comes with being unable to focus entirely on the visuals, since your eyes have to dart between it and the text. I mean, you’re watching a movie because that’s what you want to do—watch something, not read it. However, it seems to me in this age of text messages, the internet, scrolling news tickers, and billion hit Youtube videos from around the world, you’d think we’d be over the stigma of subtitles by now.