Twenty years ago today, on August 24, 1990, the film Men at Work was released. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, the film stars Estevez and his brother, Charlie Sheen, as two eccentric California garbage men who find themselves caught up in some political and criminal intrigue. Fun fact: Leslie Hope plays the love interest of Sheen; she would go on to play Teri, Jack Bauer's wife in "24," with Estevez and Sheen's Young Guns co-star, Keifer Sutherland, eleven years later. Nearly three years ago, we here at this site did a piece on this film and our very favorite scene therein. See it here.
Joe Strummer Lead Singer, The Clash (August 21, 1952 - December 22, 2002)
This past Saturday would have been the fifty-eighth birthday of Joe Strummer, the lead singer of the Clash, who died in 2002 at age 50. I can't say that I was fan from the beginning, or even from the middle. I was too young to really be into The Clash before they imploded and sunk into the depths of pop culture history in 1985. I became acquainted with them in several ways in the early 1990s. My parents, of all people, introduced me to the 1989 Jim Jarmusch flick Mystery Train, in which Strummer appeared as a swaggering Memphis hipster soon to be on the lam. Some friends of mine used to cover "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" during their gigs back in early high school. Most John Cusack movies are littered with Clash references. Since then, though, I've gotten into them heavily and now own all of their records. I don't subscribe to all of that hype about them being the only band that mattered, but all of their tunes were fueled with an energy that is absent in most mainstream music. A few links for you:
Twenty years ago today, on August 22, 2010, the film Pump Up The Volume was released. Written and directed by Allan Moyle, and starring Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis, the film chronicles the exploits of a pirate radio deejay adjusting to a new high school. The soundtrack was impressive, as it included Concrete Blonde, Soundgarden, the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains with Henry Rollins, Peter Murphy, and the Cowboy Junkies. Not bad for 1990. Of course, I need not write the perfect nostalgic piece on this film, as that task has already been accomplished by someone else. On August 27, 2008 (coincidentally, the week of the film's 18th anniversary), Ryan S. at The League of Melbotisrevisited the film and gave it the nostalgia treatment. Check it out, as we here could not have said it better ourselves.
Five years ago today, on August 21, 2005, the fine HBO series "Six Feet Under" ended its four year, five season run with one of the most melancholy and beautiful series finales in recent history. The closing montage (see above), set to Sia's "Breathe Me," is the standard by which all series finales should be judged, and few series in the past few years have come close to equaling the somber magic of those last few moments.
Five years ago today, on August 12, 2005, the documentary film Grizzly Man was released. Directed by noted documentarian Werner Herzog, the film is a captivating look at the bizarre life of Timothy Treadwell, who chose to leave civilization behind, live with bears in an Alaskan national park, and pay the ultimate price for that decision. Nearly three years ago, I did a piece on this film and the issues it raised (in which I included a brief interview with the coroner featured in the film). You can read that post here.
Thirty-something suffering from nostalgia but, thankfully, not from bouts of irony. Here, I will revisit artifacts of popular culture not sufficiently explored elsewhere, though I may perhaps stray from that mission at times.