by Judson Cade Pedigo
It’s Moviejawn’s one-year anniversary. Happy birthday guys! I found out about this monthly movie revue just recently so this is all happening so fast! Truth is, I’m still not even sure what a jawn is (I think it’s internet talk like totes, or whip, or nae nae. I just can’t keep up with what the kids are talking about these days). I’m glad I did run into the Jawn because I think reading it increases my cool factor by about 10 (previously 0). One year of celebrating film and spreading the good word to the masses. This calls for a celebration and a celebration calls for a party. Now I’m no party animal, never have been. I was always that guy sticking like glue to the one person I knew trying to avoid all other social contact as much as possible. There was also the unfortunate time where I killed a sixer and somehow found myself at an upstairs party continuing to drink and following Brittney Larson around like a lost puppy with cartoon hearts floating around my head. I think I might have told her that I loved her. I woke up the next day with no knowledge of what I had done which means it never even happened. That’s how that works, right? Usually if I end up at a party, I gravitate towards whatever is on the tv. That’s where most of my friends live anyway.
When throwing a successful party, it is important to think about the visual as well as the audio. Sure, music is important but you gotta give the peoples something to look at too. It’s all in the presentation. Case in point, I attended a dorm party where in the middle of everything, this guy put on Vertigo and started yelling at everybody about how great the cinematography was and how we all NEEDED to pay attention to this particular shot. I remember thinking clearly, “What a pretentious douche bag.” His name was Johan which wasn’t doing him any favors anyway. He suddenly wanted everyone to stop what they were doing so he could hold an impromptu film class and drop some Hitchcock knowledge on us fools. Look guy, if everyone had signed up from the get go, sure go wild but at the halfway point where everyone has already gotten their drink on and are already struggling to hear each other over Destiny’s Child’s latest pop opus; maybe, just maybe, it’s not time to throw on a cinema classic. Years later I became that pretentious douche when I headed over to a small house party with what I thought was one of the funniest, coolest movies I had seen all year, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. To my utter confusion, nobody was as into it as I was. C’mon guys, can’t you see that Jarmusch is subverting our expectations of gangster tropes in film by having his wise guys recite Flava Flav lyrics and make elk calls? It’s funny guys! Look! LOOK! I think they ended up losing interest halfway through and left to play pool while I pouted with my arms crossed the rest of the night. Lesson learned: don’t be that guy. When people just want to shake their groove thing and blow off some steam, don’t expect everybody to start crowding around the tv to watch Forest Whitaker read Hagakure and raise pigeons. At these kind of events you just need something that you can throw on and let play besides the Everybody Loves Raymond mini marathon that always seems to be on late at night. Here’s a list of five movies you can turn to whenever you want to play video DJ. I’m calling it my “Movies to have on in the background at parties with the sound down (well, maybe up a little to give the anti-social kids something to do) to help set the mood and enhance the scene at your latest get together” list.
1) Rad - If anybody questions this choice you can just tell them that you’re watching it ironically but deep down you know that you don’t have to look further than the title to know why you have it on. This movie kicks! It’s the story of a boy, a BMX bike, and the chance of a lifetime. This movie is just fun and that energy might rub off on your guests. You don’t need a map to follow the plot. There is plenty of awesome action and 80’s antics to entertain even the most cynical party goer. The BMX dance scene is sure to bring a smile to the face of everybody who catches a glimpse while they head over to the punch bowl for a refill. That’s right, I said BMX dance scene. A couples dance on BMX bikes. In a movie named RAD, it only makes sense, right?
2) Run Lola Run - Years ago, I went out drinking with some buddies and it was one of those evenings that just had a weird vibe. Tensions were high, tempers were short and the drinks certainly weren’t helping. Somehow we ended up at the Korova Milk Bar, a trendy downtown bar decorated like the droog’s hangout from A Clockwork Orange. The strange atmosphere definitely turned the weirdness factor up a notch. Broadcast across all the tv’s within was a grainy black and white film with subtitles. It didn’t take me long to identify the film as Man Bites Dog. I began to feel uneasy. Somehow the combination of that movie and being surrounded by strange naked mannequins triggered my fight or flight response and I got the hell out of there. Talk about setting the mood for a bit of the old ultra-violence, huh? I’ll never forget the effect that had on me and putting on a foreign film may not be a bad idea, though you might want to pick one with a more positive vibe. You can give the wallflowers a movie to read while everybody else socializes. If I want to give my guests some eye candy to go along with their drinks, I’m putting on Run Lola Run. It’s colorful, it’s fast, and doesn’t slow down for its entire runtime. It’s such a good movie and full of such frenetic energy that it will no doubt spread through the room. It moves at such a breakneck pace you could probably get away with putting it on a loop and calling it the “extended cut.”
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