Friday, May 30, 2008

3 O'Clock High (1987)

I've been in major movie consumption mode. Watching everything I can get my hands on. Keeping a running list of friend recommendations. Everything from High Plains Drifter to Wet Hot American Summer. Last night was a Duane Graves' recommendation. What do you mean you haven't seen 3 O'clock High? For real? Oh, Kat. So Mark and I rushed to the video store and grabbed that and a small stack of others. How did I miss this one? I guess in my John Hughes obsessed days, I never saw the cool video box art on the video store shelf. Is Molly Ringwald in it? Nope. Ok, moving on.

Ok, so this is a really strange, simple, amazingly crafted film. God, it's so simple. It's all about the bully who makes a date with the high school simpleton to beat 'em up at the end of the day, 3 O'clock to be exact. Easy tension. We're just waiting, biting our nails for 3 O'clock to come around to see if Goliath beats the crap out of David. Someone recently made a comment on one of my scripts. It feels like an extended short. It's too simple. Too small. So is this. And it works.

What makes this film, and I mean, really makes this film is the cinematography. Barry Sonnefeld shot this on the heels of Raising Arizona and it shows big time. I'm watching the opening shot and realizing ... it hasn't cut yet ... still no cut ... damn this is a long shot, still no cut? Whoa. And all of the crazy camera moves that must've taken forever to get just right. It's stunning. And in an 80s teen comedy. Huh. I have a new film to use in my camera movement/camera shots section of class. I loved this film. I could learn a ton from this film. And that's what all of this is about right now. Consume, consume, consume, learn, learn, grow.

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