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Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Film Buff: Are You . . .Joe?

One of the rare joys of being a film buff is that moment when one gets to say, "See? I told you so!" (sometimes to nobody in particular) in regards to a brilliant but unsuccessful film that later garners a cult following.
In March of 1990, I sat in the darkened Gaslight Theatre in Durango, Colorado (next to the train depot) and watched a film that would forever change the way that I looked at movies. I was sixteen years old, and the movie was Joe Versus the Volcano. I loved it. My friends hated it.
"Stupid." "Lame." "Pointless." These were their assessments of the movie and they were on par with the rest of the country as the film absolutely tanked at the box office. On the drive home, I tried to argue about the symbolism, the irony, the impeccable comic timing, and the recurring themes, but it was to no avail.
For many years to follow, I would list Joe Versus the Volcano among my favorite films (if asked) to the usual responses of either "Seriously?" or "What's that?"
Vindication would come for me in later years as the movie gained a cult following and is now listed among the favorites of many film buffs. I get to say that I loved this movie when virtually nobody else did, and that is a source of some pride to my film buff ego.
If you haven't seen it, I suggest you do, and, if you were one of those early haters, see it again. You may have missed something.
Speaking of missing something, hidden among the stellar cast of Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Dan Hedaya, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Amanda Plummer, Ossie Davis, and Abe Vigoda is a very funny but not yet very well-known Nathan Lane.

1 comment:

Prof. Jenn said...

Thought of you: