September 1, 2006

Back to the Future

I first saw BttF in the summer on 1985, while visiting my grandmother on vacation in Chicago. Who knows what she thought of it- she probably fell asleep. I was thirteen years old, so the adventures of sixteen-year-old Marty McFly was one of the first best movies of my teenage moviegoing life.
Twenty-one years later, Emily and I packed a picnic (fried chicken...mmmm) and caught Back To The Future on DVD, projected onto a giant screen at the Hatch Memorial Shell on Boston's Esplanade.
I watch Back To The Future once a year, and it's still fun. Every time I see it I think "maybe this time Marty will grab the case full of plutonium before he flees the Libyans?" After I have a movie memorized like this, I can start to think about the nitty gritty details:
  • Marty spends a eight days in 1955, but the movie skips over three of those days. What does Marty do for those three days? Sit around the Brown mansion?
  • Marty catches his father in a tree, peeping with binoculars through a bedroom window. I think we're supposed to think he's peeping on his future wife Lorraine Baines, but I've never thought it looked like her, and we never see the face of the topless woman. Am I the only one who always thought it was just a random woman? We only see the exterior of Lorraine's house in that one shot, so it's impossible to confirm it's the Baines house.
  • While I'm dwelling on this topic: if it is Lorraine in the window, does Marty ever connect the dots that George was peeping on Lorraine? Maybe we don't see the woman's face in the window so that they can save the reveal of Marty's future mother for the following scene that evening when Marty wakes up.
TIME TRAVEL UPDATE: My wife and I talked once about how the costumes and sets in the 1985 scenes are designed to be especially trendy, so the contrast with 1955 will be especially sharp. This got me to thinking if BttF will still resonate with future generations? When my oldest son turns sixteen, the movie Back To The Future will be 40 years old. Imagine a movie set in 1945, with zany time travel antics back to 1915. Would I find that funny? The "Pepsi Free" joke in the coffee shop died two years after the movie came out, along with the brand name.

I bought these shirts especially on!
Free Friday Flicks: This was only the third time I ever went to a Free Friday Flick, a very long-running summer tradition, hosted by WBZ. I first went circa 1992-1994 while attending Emerson College. The movie was Casablanca, and I was supposed to meet up with my friend Craig and his girlfriend, but they arrived after the movie started, and in that pre-cellphone era, there was no way to find each other in the dark. The second time I saw a F.F.F. was last July, but the rain started falling before we could finish Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. This screening went off hitch-free, and a wonderful time was had by all.

Also On Stub Hubby: Back To The Future, Part II and Back To The Future, Part III