true stories of life


i used to watch this film about 3 or 4 times a week, back in the 80's... i somehow had it on video, and it was my breakfast viewing of choice, seeing as i was an unemployed musician, which meant of course i didn't have to get up early, or leave the house till after 12 most days.
says a lot about me, that i related to the film of a bunch of outsiders, who establish their own codes of behaviour and morales independently of mainstream society, whom they reject, and who rejected them in turn anyway.
at the time, i didn't pick-up on the fact that roger corman directed it(i'd be eating snap,crackle and pop during the titles anyway), and the name penelope spheeris was yet to be famous.
all the actors, save for jack, were unknown... although i'm sure i'd heard of flea by then(who knows).
as i was living at home, on my own anyway, it did kind of feel a bit like a teenage squat, despite the fact that i was paying rent and was soon to be out of my teens... although i never really embraced the drinking, fucked-up, unhealthy lifestyle of eating junkfood and smoking(until a few years ago, and when i saw what it did to me, i stopped!!!).
this was one of those nascent periods in my life, when i was coming out of being a good kid and having a local regular job, and turning into the rebel with ripped jeans, james dean raincoats and too much hair-gel(country born).
yeah, i got called a psychobilly in the street(i never was, although i had friends who were, and i never attempted to look like one anyway...), and people who didn't know i was a youth-worker, thought it terrible that such a cleancut boy like me, spent all his time hanging out with all the wierdos and druggies in town(my client-base in my job, actually)... although what they didn't know was, that when i wasn't being seen around town with all the local alternative types(actually most of whom, were fairly harmless kids like me.), i was cycling up and down the west coast... usually at night, avoiding the traffic and watching the sun come up somewhere...
haven't watched the film since those far off days, you can only watch something so often, no matter how good it is... until now, when i saw it again(this time on dvd, although a crummy transfer with all the video interference of the original)... and how did it stand-up, after 25 years of life inbetween... these days, i don't think i would have devoted so much time to watching one film - but it does feel quite seminal now, i've seen a lot of films since then, who have borrowed various ideas(possibly the last one being american history X, which in turn also borrowed heavily from the american skin novel by don degrazia, although romper stomper steals a lot of the ideas from suburbia too... and i might even venture the idea for the walk on, in reservoir dogs, looks uncannily like the shot of the punks walking down the street...).
i got into minutemen later on, and the whole DIY ethic they proposed was already in my mind though, thanks to watching suburbia...
most of the intellect comes across now as mere smart-ass humour, but i'm glad i got into that frame of mind, it did me a lot of good in giving me the courage to go out and find myself, instead of accepting my fate in a smalltown existence(which worked fine for a lot of the people i grew up with, but wasn't for me.).
after all, if you don't create your own reality, it creates you - i'm just glad i got to find the space to have the choice.

but, i wish i'd watched loveless over and over, then i would have been cooler.

now that is a motherfucker of a film...

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