by Megan McNelis
I’m motivated to travel by the images I see in movies. I have to admit, I’m not great at remembering plots. I’ll be discussing a movie with someone and they’ll say, “How about that ending?!” I’ll find my mind blank, eyes wide while I nod and search my memory.
But images often run through my mind before I fall asleep or while I have a spare few moments during the day. This is when my wanderlust kicks in, goading me to see these images for myself and enhance what is only currently a two-dimensional dream.
On a recent trip to Ireland, my sister and I drove in a semicircle south to north, from Cobh to Belfast. At every stop, I found myself sharing my enthusiasm with locals about movies that had been filmed there. Films are always a great way to unite with people and show that I’ve done a little more in-depth research into their hometowns than just the cost of a tour-bus ticket.
The terror starts with a pay phone ringing. Up until that point, Miracle Mile seems like a cute romantic comedy. Primed for rediscovery in an extras-packed new Blu-Ray and DVD from Kino Lorber, writer/director Steve De Jarnatt’s unique 1988 thriller follows Harry (Anthony Edwards), an affable geek and self-proclaimed “king of the Glenn Miller impersonators” who falls in love-at-first-sight with Julie (Mare Winningham). They meet at the La Brea Tar Pits museum, hit it off and spend the afternoon together, having such a good time that they plan to meet up again at midnight after her waitressing shift at Johnie’s Coffee Shop. But a power outage causes Harry to show up late (long story), after Julie’s already given up and gone home. And that’s when he answers the pay phone and the guy calling the wrong number from the missile silo tells him about the nuclear war that’s underway.
When I was invited to attend Seattle’s Battlestar Galactica Convention and write about it, my first thought was about how much I really enjoyed the old-school 1970’s BSG. My second thought was about how much I had always wanted to write about the ill fated spin off – Galactica 1980.
After the cancellation of Battlestar Galactica in 1979, fans came together for a massive write-in campaign and the show was hastily remounted as Galactica 1980. This happened in caveman times–before the invention of online petitions–and the sheer volume of physical mail arriving at Universal Studios convinced executives to give it a second chance. E-mail petitions are fine, but they lack the visceral impact of a dump truck full of tear-stained envelopes (I’m looking at you, Fannibals and Browncoats). Read More
Starting Wednesday July 22, Scarecrow and Northwest Film Forum are going to be co-hosting a new monthly screening series called “Not On Netflix”. Each month, someone affiliated with Scarecrow will hand-pick a rare title from our voluminous stacks to put in front of your eyeballs. We’re kicking it off with an amazing, bizarre little homemade action film, POLK COUNTY POT PLANE, which happens to come with a fascinating true behind-the-scenes story.
Peter Moran over at Film Forum interviewed our very own Matt Lynch, who will be introducing the movie next week, to find out what makes movies like this one so special, and how they can disappear without a trace if we’re not careful.