Hamish Downie has a new type of column that started backing December as his Holiday playlist. It was so popular hat he decided to make it a monthly recurring column with a movie playlist for each month. Thanks, Hamish for creating a new concept for TG Geeks.
If you have seen any of these films, let us know your thoughts.
I feel like so many films trade on nostalgia these days, whether it by adapting or rebooting a popular franchise property, or it’s by paying homage via thinly veiled “original” films that are basically retreads of earlier films (I’m looking at you “Joker” and your homage to “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy”).
However, what I feel is rarer, is films that are straight up nostalgia. Ones that want to take you on a trip to the past organically, and not just cynical attempts to take a Hoover to your wallet.
APOLLO 10 ½: A SPACE AGE CHILDHOOD
Richard Linklater is no stranger to nostalgia. He helped us remember that vacation romance with the one that got away (Before Sunrise), the dying days of high school in the 1970s (“Dazed and Confused”), and even childhood itself (“Boyhood”). His latest film, Apollo 10 1/2 : A Space Age Childhood takes us on a trip to 1960s Texas (where Linklater himself grew up), and a boy who is selected for a secret mission to go to the moon by NASA. While that might be the hook, it’s not really the lion’s share of the film, which is mostly made up of the aforementioned trip down memory lane, all narrated by Jack Black.
This is the third rotoscoped film Linklater has produced, following “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly”. This is the perfect film for a Sunday Afternoon.
SWINGING SAFARI a.k.a FLAMMABLE CHILDREN
All-Star Australian cast takes us on a trip down memory lane to the 1970s (and a couple of Easter Eggs for fans of the Director). As most of the referenced products were still in full swing in the 80s, and I grew up in a house filled with shag carpet and orange kitchen tiles, so the 70s feel very real to me. Not just the 90s throwback to the 70s (I participated – with green denim bellbottoms). Is there a story? Kind of. The kids are busy watching JAWS and making schlock horror films at home on the Super8, and one is trying to run away. The Adults are popping car keys into a bowl and trying a bit of “Swinging Safari” (if you know what I mean). A whale beaches itself onto shore, and the whole community gathers around as it’s the biggest thing to happen to their sleepy town since, well nothing else. The story doesn’t really matter as it’s pure nostalgia. That said, the story itself is something of a semi-autobiographical one for the director (most famous for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). I give it two thumbs up.
Most people in the world probably know Carrie Fisher as Princess Leila, or as real life Hollywood Royalty as the daughter of Singing in the Rain’s Debbie Reynolds, and the one time step daughter of Elizabeth Taylor. This might shock readers of this website, but I wasn’t allowed to watch most of the iconic films of the 1980s, but one of the few films I was allowed to rent from Civic video as a youngster was a TV Movie called, “Sunday Drive”, starring none other than Carrie Fisher herself and Tony Randell. It’s an ensemble piece that centers around a pair of siblings, who are staying with their Uncle and Aunt for the summer, and every Sunday, they go for a drive, while their Uncle lectures them on American history. The girl has a voice recorder for her thoughts and ambitions for writing the Great American Novel. They stop by a roadside diner for lunch, in the same model of car as a Young Man wearing an Armani Suit going to an interview in the big city to impress his materialistic girlfriend, who also goes into said diner to call said girlfriend. He bumps into Carrie Fisher whose car has broken now, and they all end up in the wrong car, and love and chaos ensues. A harmless film, very much in the Disney vein. I managed to find a copy on YouTube, and watched it. Surprisingly, it has stood the test of time. It is still funny and charming, and a perfect slice of 1980s nostalgia (although it wasn’t planned as such). The casting is perfect. I recommend seeking this forgotten gem out. My question is… do people still go on Sunday Drives? I know I do so with my partner. We recently drove out to the river and saw the fireflies, then drove to the hot springs, and then had dinner. It was marvelous.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN – Run Away With Me
The faux sax in the song is definitely meant to invoke nostalgia from us 80s kids, and it does. But, what this makes me nostalgic for is not the 80s, but the late 2000s, when I was a young teacher first in Tokyo, literally running away from Australia, and having the time of my life in Shibuya. The video really encapsulates the feeling of going out all night with your friends in Tokyo in the late 2000s. The only thing missing is running to catch the very last train to go back to your home on the outskirts of Greater Tokyo.
What are the films that make you nostalgic?