Thursday, October 27, 2005

American Graffiti

For the past few days back and forth on the bus I've been watching American Graffiti on the little portable DVD player. The more I watch this movie, the more it grows on almost ranks up there to being one of my favorites. I love the look of it, the story behind it, and the intentions that George Lucas had in making it. Outside of these things, it's hard for me to really describe what it is about it that draws me in, especially since it revolves around an era that I wasn't yet born to be part of, but I think that's the main reason why. I have a similar guilty pleasure obsession with Dirty Dancing, which is set in almost the same year. This time period of 1962-63 is often referred to as the 'end of innocence' right before Kennedy got shot, the British invasion, the hippie culture and the Vietnam war. It's a great concept....these inbetween moments right before a major upheaval in society. Probably relates to why I have such fond memories of early '89 and the 'making funny tapes' era with my was right before starting high school, moving away from my childhood house and things becoming gradually more complicated and dark for me. It's an ache to get back to the 'garden' before the 'fall'.....that's the spiritual sub-conscious part of it.

I know that the music in Graffiti is a major factor of my love for it, since I just got the soundtrack on vinyl and have always enjoyed going back to the roots of modern rock n' roll. I relate alot of the memories and sentiment around this music to my dad, and growing up listening to his records. Perhaps this is my way of dealing with my desire to be closer to him. I've lately had a small obsession with learning more about the history behind this era and the radio age. The mythology of the Wolfman is especially fascinating to me...the whole idea of a phantom DJ who is listened to by everyone; a true testament to the power of music. Music, like nothing else, brings a sense of community to people who would normally be estranged and disconnected from each other. This idea of the Wolfman has inspired a story idea I've had in the back of my head for a long time, to be incorporated into a book or screenplay...this idea of an angelic DJ who plays the soundtrack of a main character's life as he drives across the country.

"The Wolfman is everywhere!"

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