Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
School started today and while many of you have already been entranced by the reality of the strangely comforting feel of new textbooks, fresh Hilroy lined paper, mechanical pencils that are actually filled and highlighters with ample ink, I can't seem to get my mind off movies.
The beginning of the school year always kickstarts my cinematic libido because just days after we step back into our respective classrooms (or labs if you're science-y), the Toronto International Film Festival starts. Although TIFF pretty much owns my (and now, many of my friends') soul in September, you don't have to go a big film fest to get your movie fix before school actually gets hard.
When I'm not perusing and schmoozing (near) the red carpet scene, I like to indulge in some classic school themed flicks and TV shows. Even though most of us hated at least part of our high school (or university) lives, there is something wonderfully homey about getting all nostalgic and looking back on growing up. Even if involves reminding ourselves that we were a brain, a basket case, a princess, an athlete or a criminal back in the day.
In honor of one of my favourite genres (if not my favourite), here is a list of my top 10 shows/movies that will teach even the most angsty teenager that high school can be the most bittersweetly awesome place to re-visit. Wedgies, pop quizzes, awkward crushes and all. Enjoy em' while you don't have five essays to write.
1. My So-Called Life
In my humble opinion, this series is not for everyone. If you have adverse reactions to excessive amounts of plaid, Jared Leto or introspective reflections, then you will hate everything about Angela Chase and her so-called friends Rayanne Graff and Rickie Vasquez. But if you've ever hung out with someone you parents didn't like, referred to your crush by his full name (and only his full name), slipped up on a test, felt completely ugly because of a tiny pimple, turned your back on an old friend, or dyed your hair a obscure shade of red because your raggedy old one was holding you back, then you will have a time with this show.
2. Freaks and Geeks
Judd Apatow gave the endlessly lovable (and recognizable!) misfits at McKinley High School Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" as a theme song but, this show is anything but poorly regarded. Freaks and Geeks is a cult favourite, and with way too many reasons to count. From the first minute of the pilot, when the camera pans away from the unrealistically lovesick quarterback and his cheerleader gf on the football and down to a group of most likely stoned guys ranting about parents and the importance of Led Zeppelin, you know this is a special show. And it just gets better from there. Well not really. Nothing goes right on this show. Teachers don't treat everyone equally. Parents don't stay together. Romances don't blossom gracefully (try not to cringe when Linsday and Nick (Linda Cardenelli and Jason Segel) goes from sweet to helplessly awkward in the span of one Styx song). Parties aren't really that fun. Best friends don't last forever. It sounds upsetting, but with Apatow and Paul Feig at the helm, it's downright hilarious.
I am incredibly biased because I pretty much worship Reese Witherspoon, but by god, why didn't the woman get an Oscar for this movie? I mean, she played a mean June Carter but, this performance is even better. She IS Tracy Flick in this movie. And Tracy Flick is not a likable person in any way shape or form. Very unlike Reese.
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)
You either get Buffy or you don't. But if you get it, you're head-over-heels in love with it. And how can you not be, really? The whole fighting demons gimmick is really just a metaphor for dealing with all the crap that high school throws you. But it's so much more kickass when the crap comes in the form of assorted creatures of the night.
5. The Breakfast Club
Don't you forget about this movie. Only a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie would, and you my friend, are not a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie. Well, that is if you've seen this movie. If not, then I really can't save you from geekdom. Just accept your fate and maybe one day someone will write a really great movie or show about your life set to a wicked Simple Minds song. (R.I.P. John Hughes.)
6. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Sean Penn was really a funny laidback guy once. Hard to believe, I know, but it's true. Just ask Mr. Hand. Oh, and when you see him, say aloha for me, m'kay?
I first saw this movie the summer between Grade 1 and Grade 2. My parents were stupid and let me choose the movie. They said I could see pick either The Great Panda Adventure or Clueless. To my six-year-old self, the choice was obvious (The poster had three cool older girls wearing boas and talking on cellphones! Like the pandas had a chance! As if!). The minute movie started, I wanted to be Cher Horowitz (The girl had a computerized outfit selecter!) so I went out and bought myself a fluffy pink feather pen and started saying things like "I'm outie!", "Whatever!" and using terms like "Betty" and "Baldwin" in my day-to-day life. I was sure if I started then, I'd be so ahead of the game when high school actually came around. Once I hit Grade 9, however, fluffy pens were out, the Baldwin bros weren't hot anymore and Alicia Silverstone was barely on anyone's radar. But even though my dreams of becoming Cher have been crushed forever, I love the movie more now. Watching it as an adult is totally different. I actually get the jokes.
8. Donnie Darko
Time travel. Giant Bunnies. Wormholes. Patrick Swayze. Sparkle Motion. Genius.
WARNING: This isn't another fun teen romp. It's about suicide, Diet Coke-heads and underage sex. And it's absolutely hilarious. Heathers certainly isn't for everyone but I say if you can't handle sharp dark humour mixed in with your teen love triangles and cafeteria gossip, then what's your damage?
I've only seen one episode of this musical-dramedy but I'm in love with the witty High School Musical goes Freaks and Geeks vibe it's giving out. They are showing the second episode tomorrow night on FOX so it's the perfect time to catch up!
BONUS: Grease 2
Okay, so I know everyone is crazy about the first Grease, and I totally get that (I dressed up as a Pink Lady back in Grade 6.). But Grease 2 tackles some issues Danny and Sandy wouldn't have even dared to talk - let alone sing - about when they did their stint at Rydell. I'm talking musical interludes about reproduction, the best ways to turn bowling terminology into sexual innuendos, rock-a-hula-luaus and masked biker dudes. Oh, and a snappy number about going back to school. What's not to quote endlessly?!!
Mood Music: "Church Clothes" by Matt Nathanson
Monday, September 7, 2009
Once upon a time, a nerd of a young gal named Emily happened upon a book entitled Geeky Dreamboats on ModCloth. Immediately, she fell in love.
But even though her nerdtastic yearning for this truly important text grew larger every day, Emily never expressed my her true feelings to anyone, except maybe her good friend, the favourites section of Internet Explorer. Today, after months of fantasizing about uncovering the wonderful nuggets of geekdom nerdy man-boys like Jemaine Clement, Michael Cera, John Cusack and Andy Samberg have to offer, her friend Priya surprised her with a copy as a super-premature b-day present (her big day's in November). It was a geek-boy miracle.
P.S. - I can't stop wondering if I wrote this book in my sleep.
Mood Music: "Kiss With a Fist" by Florence and the Machine (NEW FAVOURITE SONG.)