The trinkets of our past are in our families, friends, music that we listen to and movies that we’ve watched. They’re a joke, a tune, an image or any glimpse of being eight years old imagining what you’d be like in fifteen or twenty years. For me, there’s a whole host of films that trigger this nostalgia, but for now, I’ll narrow it to three, working my way towards my favourite.
3) Juice (1992): I hadn’t heard of either Omar Epps or Tupac Shakur when I first saw this movie. I remember it was all skateboards and X-Works clothing. I stuffed a pair of my brother’s Converse with tissue to try to get them to stay on my feet. I also took a few knuckle punches to the arm for wearing my hood over my cap. I was a million miles from Harlem, Inglewood, or even being black. But it was fun. It was less then four years to Shakur’s death, and probably another four before I was bouncing along to Changes.
2) The Lost Boys (1987): My introduction to the two Coreys. I preferred Haim with his blonde curls to Feldman and that voice. I wasn’t big on horror then but even I could tell it was more comical. I went into a store two years ago, saw it sitting on the shelves for a pittance and brought it to the checkout. I was asked for ID. Bear in mind the movie is a 15s and I was twenty-three. They refused me. I chucked my items down and walked out the door. Sadly I haven’t seen as good a bargain since.
1) Stand By Me (1986): This was the film that catapulted River Phoenix to stardom. He was the sweetest looking 12-year-old kid who could hold a gun, a smoke and swear without you ever finding him anything less than perfect. At home we’d laugh about the ‘barfarama’ with the name ‘lard arse’ thrown around for kicks. The greatest thing about this Stephen King story is that those four kids basically epitomise every character in real life. Maybe you’re one of them, or a little of each, but either way, you identify. Watching it as a kid made you want to sit around with your friends smoking fags under an oak. Watching it as an adult made you realise how damn great it was to be a kid, no matter how you felt at the time.
There’s one last honorary mention that goes out to anyone who’s ever been a teenage girl.
Now And Then (1995): My friends and I took each of the characters to be ourselves, based as much on looks and personality as possible. I was Christina Ricci’s Roberta; the girl who strapped her boobs back with a stretch bandage, lived in a house of boys and embarrassed guys at sport. Another of my friends was Thora Birch’s Teeny; the beauty queen who was using blusher and chasing boys before she was able to find a high heel small enough to strap her feet into. Ironically I was later told I looked something like Birch. But that was when she lost the baby face, began donning black hair and starred in Ghost World. Not quite the compliment.
I suppose for kids of the Celtic Tiger and beyond, their memories are trapped in High School Musical and Hannah Montana. That doesn’t seem like much to me, but then I guess there’s a generation that think nothing of an era that established Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman, or even a diminished Will Wheaton.
Post your most nostalgic movies below.