It’s been years since I’ve watched it, but I remember Juno to be a perfectly pleasant film. More importantly, however, was how Juno and its accompanying soundtrack introduced me to the world of folk music. Now, dozens of Bob Dylan albums later, I can draw the distinction between folk music, folk rock, and Juno’s particular brand, anti-folk.
Were I to say On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the best James Bond movie of all-time, I’d probably get more than a few side-eyed glances. But I said it, just now, and it’s true. No other film about codename 007 (not that Bond ever hesitates to throw his real name around anyways*) captures quite what we love about the character so well, and yet intelligently contextualizes his behaviour so that we are not empathizing with a racist misogynist. And John Barry’s score absolutely reflects this modern Bond.
Nostalgia is a poison. Our current nostalgia-obsessed culture tends to forget that, at its root, there is a sadness that stems from the idea that what you had in the past is no longer attainable in your present or future. It is an infection that, much like the virus in Grindhouse’s opening feature, Planet Terror, spreads rapidly throughout a community (it runs especially rampant in the gaming community, but that is a discussion for another day). There are those who look back fondly on their high school selves, but I am not one of those people. I’ve heard it said that growing up is hating who you were five years ago, and that seems especially true of myself. And nothing highlights this dichotomy better than my shifting opinions on the two feature films that compose 2007’s Grindhouse – Planet Terror and Death Proof.
A beautiful transition from black and white to vibrant colour introduces us to the land of Oz. Yes, the only real sets are whatever the characters are standing on, as the backgrounds are almost always entirely visual effects, but it remains an endlessly charming journey nonetheless. It is a kid’s film that may be a little disjointed and ham-handed, but the sincerity of it all somehow wins over even the sternest curmudgeon. And to this day, The Wizard of Oz (1939) remains a classic of motion pictures.