“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Friday, January 6, 2012

“Leave. The Kid. Alone.”

I have a number of issues with Garry Mulholland’s STRANDED AT THE DRIVE-IN, which is subtitled, ‘FROM THE BREAKFAST CLUB TO THE SOCIAL NETWORK: THE 100 BEST TEEN MOVIES. Actually, I have five issues. One is Saturday Night Fever. The second is The Wanderers. The third is Brick. The fourth is Can’t Buy Me Love. The fifth is Some Kind of Wonderful. Classic teen movies all, and not one of them makes it into Mulholland’s Top 100.
  Still, half the joy of compiling and reading lists is the arguments they provoke, about what should go in and what stinks like a dead armadillo. And Mulholland’s list, while entirely subjective, makes for a breezy read that flirts dangerously with anorak-style analysis at times, but is largely terrific fun.
  Anyway, I had a feature on STRANDED AT THE DRIVE-IN published in the Examiner earlier this week, which kicked off a lot like this ...
Stranded at the drive-in / Feelin’ like a fool / What will they say / Monday at school …?

A lovelorn John Travolta pining for Olivia Newton-John may not, at first glance, represent film at its dazzling zenith, but film buff Garry Mulholland begs to differ. ‘Stranded at the Drive-In’, the opening line to one of the best-loved songs from Grease (1978), is the title of the Mulholland’s latest book, which attempts to list the 100 Best Teen Movies.
  ‘Not only do we get a cinema reference,’ says Mulholland in his introduction of the song Sandy, ‘but a neat summing up of a few of the key elements of teen fiction: thwarted romance, peer pressure, school, the quest for night-time pleasure, fear of humiliation.’
  Of course, no one really takes teen movies seriously. They’re all about hormonal angst and ridiculous serial killers, bad hair-dos and the Prom. Aren’t they?
  For the rest, clickety-click here

2 comments:

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

It is all subjective, and he does explain why certain movies did not make the cut, and I don't agree with a lot of his reasoning, but like you mentioned, that is the fun of it.

Fast Times and Sat Night Fever should be on the list, no question.

Couple others I would add:

- "The Warriors", "Stand by Me", "Less Than Zero", "Valley Girl" "Caddyshack"

ptbpmc said...

Yesterday found a blog somewhat similar to this. It has a nice move catalogue. You might want to check it out.