I don’t know about Repo Men but this is Repo Man.
A Fairytale of New York, great live version.
If you haven’t read Wonderland Avenue, by Danny Sugarman, run – don’t walk, to your nearest rock ‘n roll book store and demand a copy immediately. What? There are no bookstores anymore, no rock ‘n roll book stores? Walmart didn’t have it? Shit.
Sorry, I got worked up because once upon a time LOTB, sat in on a spoken word session with Jello Biafra, Scott Goodard and Danny Sugarman, who read a few passages from his upcoming book. After that I waited for two years for that book to come out and it still ranks as one of the tops on my list. Seriously, get a copy.
There’s an unrecognized genre in American film that celebrates the lawless flaunting of authority. It’s exemplified well by the movie Cannonball Run. Through the 1970′s, and a large part of the 1980′, protagonists in many American films broke laws, made suckers out of the institution of law enforcement and other figures of authority.
They sensationalized drinking and drug use while driving and the good guys won at the end by getting away with it. In Cannonball Run, the “good guys” land a plane in the middle of a small town, terrifying the residents, because they ran out of beer while flying.
These movies weren’t just “B-movies” created by Roger Corman, although he was a master, they were number one box office hits. Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run… Look at the 1980′s smash Arthur, a movie where the protagonist ignites hilarity while barely being able to function while drinking and driving. The premises of these movies would be unheard of now.
In the same way that Stalag 17, with William Holden, portrays the perennial notion of the American anti-hero, Cannonball Run glorifies the notion that heros play by their own rules, and defy authority or the norm.
Many American films still embrace the notion that heroes make their own rules, but heroes these days can only break rule if they’re fighting to right a wrong for secure justice. They can’t break rules simply because they thing the rules, and those that make the rules, are ridiculous – and that’s really what Cannonball Run is all about.
The really cool thing about Cannonball Run is that it was based on a true story. Even funnier is that the director, Hal Needham, lived that story.Can’t find a link off hand now, and I’m tired of looking, but Needham’s DVD commentary on Cannonball talks in detail of how he participated in the real Cannonball Run, in the same Ambulance featured in the film. Awesome.