When I was in high school I used to do movie marathons during winter break either by myself or with a friend. Four or so movies in one day could mean seeing something like twelve movies in just three days. Now I'm in my 30s with infinitely more responsibility so it could take several weeks to watch the same number of movies I used to be able to see in a few days. There have been some holes in the list of quintessential Gen X movies I'd seen throughout my life and I felt it was time to fill those holes in. This week was the end of a movie marathon I did over the past couple of months and these were some of the movies I recently watched:
Pretty in Pink (1986) - One might wonder how I can call myself a poster child for Gen X if I had never seen this movie. I meant to. I just never got around to it until now. My defense is that I always really wanted to see it. Now I have. I liked the classic love story line of people falling in love from the opposite side of the tracks. Molly Ringwald was the teenager that all of us younger Gen X girls looked up to who had not yet become teenagers. We were sure that she knew everything that we did not - like how to go to a prom with or without a date AND make your own dress.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) - Until now, I'd only seen small fragments of this movie out of chronological order when it would air on some movie channel and then I'd have to turn it off and go do my homework. Considering that this is a time-travel movie, you can imagine that this would be a bit confusing. I finally got to see it in its entirity AND in chronological order. This helped things make much more since when Billy the Kid and Socrates go ice skating at a local mall. I laughed out loud more than a few times.
Labyrinth (1986) - I have heard Gen Xers reference this movie seemingly hundreds of times during our childhood and teenage years. While I wasn't crazy about the plot, Jim Hensen and George Lucas both worked on the film, both of who, of course, are very important to Gen X - our childhoods would not have been the same without them. This meant enormous work went into creating the Muppet characters and the set which had both M.C. Escher and Alice in Wonderland qualities. I had to smile at the random electric guitar solo soundtrack background that were sometimes accompanied by some crazy synthesizer sounds, too. Very mid-80s.
The Outsiders (1983) - This was the film in which many from the Brat Pack made their first appearance and it was interesting to see many of them when they were still so very young. The story is set in an earlier era than the one Gen Xers actually grew up in (the 1950s) and deals with class warfare. Seeing everyone with their lives and careers ahead of them is sort of amazing since so much of the cast went on to become famous in the years that followed the film. The cast includes Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, and Diane Lane.
Tron (1982) - I can proudly say that I first saw this movie when in first came out in the theater, which makes me so very Gen X. Of the $33 million it grossed, about $3 came from my ticket. I was just a six-year-old, so I didn't have the ability to really follow the story line, but I was mesmerized by the glow of the red and blue backlit animation that has vividly resided in my memory all these years. I liked it even more this time around and I totally see why it became a cult film. It's amazing to watch a film you haven't seen in 30 years and to recognize every scene.
(c) 2011 photography and writing by Chloe Koffas - all rights reserved