How to supplement your own and your kids’ education with 80’s movies

12 October 2010

Rolf and I are children of the 80’s. So are both our children! It’s not really surprising that they are into 80’s music — they grew up with our CD collection and therefore on Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Housemartins, etc. or Neue Deutsche Welle. Linus also likes Rick Astley, even if it’s just for the purpose of rickrolling. But both also seem to develop a taste for 80’s trash movies. These films serve as excellent educational supplements which seem to stimulate their creative thinking while also gently massaging their ‘silly glands’. (But maybe it’s not the movies after all — maybe it’s just the result of our parenting?). They also make them very aware of how NOT to dress and the terrible things that can happen to your hair if you are not careful.

Lucy has recently replaced Harry Potter with a Star Wars obsession. To further her expertise, she is now also reading a comprehensive ‘fact book’ about the series. I was shocked when I flicked through the book: I didn’t know that Harrison Ford ever looked so young. Will she be watching Flash Dance next? Or Fame? Will that turn her into an acting, singing and dancing welder?
Linus will watch Star Wars but prefers Blues Brothers or Monty Python (particularly the Life of Brian). We introduced him to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai last night. What a film!!! Have you ever watched it? If you are into 80’s trash, then you must watch it, consider it an essential! I could date it to 1984 just by looking at the hairdos and the weird fake leather ties people used to wear (I had one of those hideous things too! It was royal blue to match my canary yellow jumper AARRGHHH! I keep pictures of myself wearing that outfit locked away and I live in the hope that my children will never find them).
Linus loved the gadgets and the weird plot of the film. I had to leave the room at times when it became just a bit too unbearably trashy. But I adore the crazy bad scientist character of Dr Lizardo because of his fab Italian accent and his addiction to high voltage… :). I am now trying to find Ghostbusters for Linus, I think that will be right up his street. It shouldn’t be too hard either, the libraries here in Lyon are well stocked with such cult movies. So that’s where I am heading now, in pursuit of suitable entertainment for my son and his father. And obviously to educate myself. I seem to have missed some typical 80’s culture such as ET or The man with two brains just because I was more into stuff such as Brideshead Revisited… Do you remember that? Well, I suppose there used to be a time when I thought that life should be taken very seriously at all times. I really need to fill some ‘silly knowledge’ gaps now that I’m older and wiser(???) . (I still love Brideshead Revisited and Room with a View nevertheless… 🙂 )

By the way, we saw another film the other day and that was really good. It’s a Japanese production from 2005 called Hinokio, a sweet and touching film about a boy who totally withdraws from social life after the death of his mother. The boy manages to reconnect with the world via a little robot called Hinokio. The boy controls Hinokio from the safety of his room, so the robot can go to school make friends in his place. A lovely movie with a happy ending!

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