Last weekend was a somewhat swollen-neck-gland/chesty cough kinda weekend, during which I watched Richard Linklater's experimental "Boyhood". Much like Michael Apted's "7-Up" documentary series (except it's a drama), we follow a story filmed across twelve years - The actors naturally ageing as the film progresses. The great thing about the film is that it doesn't give you what you want. Because life's just not like that.
It's the sort of movie that Linklater does so incredibly well. Much like "Dazed and Confused", not much actually happens. There's no real big plot twists or drama-for-the-sake-of-drama. Throughout the movie, I found myself hoping, almost pining that certain characters would change their ways or reconnect in some way. At one point Patricia Arquette's character comes to a rather sad conclusion:
Mom: You know what I'm realising? My life is just going to go. Like that.
This series of milestones. Getting married. Having kids. Getting divorced.
The time that we thought you were dyslexic. When I taught you how to ride a bike.
Getting divorced... again. Getting my masters degree. Finally getting the job I wanted.
Sending Samantha off to college. Sending you off to college. You know what's next?
Huh? It's my fucking funeral!
I just thought there would be more.
Being a father of two young children, there's a certain privilege and strange joy to watch lives blossoming. Part of you can't wait to see them grow, learn and become their own person. Another part of you wants them to stay exactly as they are now.
We could all do with more joy in our lives - so here's my top-whatever of joyful moments, cobbled together from the store cupboard of my dusty mind. I'm sure I've missed loads off, and that you've got far more classier stuff - feel free to message me with your suggestions!
1. The Truman Show
A man seizing his own destiny whilst delivering the perfect kiss-off? Yes please.
Childhood hero Davy Jones performs a jaunty little dance whilst crooning Harry Nilsson's "Daddy's Song" - the song itself is a bit on the dark side, but the performance is so uplifting (with some rather nifty editing), it can't help but make you smile.
3. Back to the Future
There are so many moments in this film which make the voice in your head yell "YES!", but for me this is THE moment: George standing up for himself? Marty's life/future being saved? Seeing your own parents fall in love? Ruddy hell...
4. The Blues Brothers
There's a ton of great song and dance scenes to choose from, but what is better than seeing a car do a backflip, and watching a couple of Illinois nazis fly to their doom?
Again, another movie packed with some great moments. In particular, this scene does not pan out how you would expect it to: The Gummers are in their basement, unaware that the Graboids are coming for them. They're dead for certain. OR ARE THEY?
6. Superman II
Ol' Supes goes through it a bit in the film, and at the end you think he's about to hand himself over on a plate to the nasty General Zod... OR DOES HE? Not only do you get a "YES" moment - you get another two "YES" moments thrown in for free.
The insult scene. Poor CD Bales is picked on in a bar by some flat-faced, flat-nosed flat-head - and defeats him with wit. And a punch. *The opening scene with CD taking on a couple of morons is a close second.
8. Bugsy Malone
The big showdown. Splurge frenzy. It's all gone too far. So pack it in, kids - and play NICE!
9. Mission Impossible
I NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING THIS SCENE. It is brilliant. Hilarious. Defies belief. It's nonsense - but fantastic nonsense. It's what FUN cinema is all about. "RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!" As IF!
10. Les Miserables
After a lifetime of misery and hardship, they get to sing a song of freedom. It makes you want to explode.