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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Why "Repo Man" is good for you

08 03 12 - 18:40

I imagine most people reading this will have their own equivalent - the film that first rocked their world, blew their tiny minds, introduced them to the all-consuming marvel of cinema. But Repo Man was mine. Squinting through a veil of cigarette smoke, all but pinned back in my seat as Iggy Pop's theme tune blasted tinnily from the Electric's speakers, I watched agape as the frantic title sequence of a radiation-green road map of the route from Los Alamos to California gave way to the opening scene of Frank J Parnell's stuttering drive across the desert: the first sardonic note of the film's account of a stolen Chevy Malibu with a secret in its trunk and, in its way, pretty much everything else besides. And something deeply significant clicked into place for me.

Given my age at the time, the strange thing is, having watched it semi-regularly over the last two decades, I still think the film's a stone classic. Still as fuck-you funny now as then; still as prescient in its fixation with conspiracies and coincidence; still as potent in portraying an LA (and by extension a world) at once feral and beigely-corporatised. Now, as an adult, I'm still glad it was the one that got to me first. And that in itself is no minor stroke of luck. After all, at 12, most of us are nothing if not insanely pliable, our formative influences ingested haphazardly, stumbled on by chance - and as I think of it now, a vast streak of my own tastes can still be traced back to that glacial night at the Electric. - "How Repo Man got my cultural motor running," by Danny Leigh, The Guardian

Worth noting. A true classic, alongside Apocalypse Now and Dr. Strangelove.

A new one you might add: Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy.

nineteen comments

All quiet on the western Front... benny - 08-03-’12 20:26
Jim Necroslaughter
Dr. Strangelove ftfw! 'Don't say you're sorrier than me, Dimitri, I'm capable of being just as sorry as you!' HA!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqlLn0Jj8CQ Jim Necroslaughter - 08-03-’12 20:54
Joseph Kony
Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is better than these films, atleast to my taste. Joseph Kony - 08-03-’12 23:00
Joseph Kony
But still, those are all great films. Add A Clockwork Orange as well. Joseph Kony - 08-03-’12 23:01
Joseph Kony
Except for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Joseph Kony - 08-03-’12 23:09
great guy
Young Guns II was mine. great guy - 09-03-’12 10:10
great guy
no the first one was Conan the Barbarian. Not for its philosophy but for its beauty. great guy - 09-03-’12 10:18
Travis Bickle
Taxi Driver. Every one of you shitheads should watch it and could relate to it. Maybe then you'd finally get over your "edgy" death metal phase. Travis Bickle - 09-03-’12 13:28
Travis the Faggot
I, for one, listen to "edgy" indie rock and underground hip-hop. I'm a grown up. Travis the Faggot - 09-03-’12 14:14
Film Major
@Travis Bickle: Taxi Driver is for amateurs. Watch 'M' by Fritz Lang, then maybe you'll finally get over your edgy-movies-that-everyone-has-actually-seen-but-still-think-are-diamonds-in-the-rough phase. Film Major - 09-03-’12 20:43
Biostats, bitch
>Film Major

Do your labs consist of honing burger-flipping techniques, and do you get evaluated on how well you can say the phrase "Would you like fries with that"? Biostats, bitch - 10-03-’12 05:08
you're clueless, you get an F
>Taxi Driver is for amateurs.

And the rest of the movies mentioned so far, e.g. Dr. Strangelove, aren't? you're clueless, you get an F - 10-03-’12 05:09
Film Major
Dr. Strangelove is superior to Taxi Driver. I'm a film major and I say so. The King of Comedy is the DeNiro/Scorcese project you want to watch. Taxi Driver is so passe. It's like the 1984 of films. 1984 is a cut above mainstream stuff, and it's a good book, but everyone's read it and it's really nothing amazing if you're a serious serious reader. Film Major - 10-03-’12 12:07
<span class='registered'>nihilist</span>
"Taxi Driver" is just "The Catcher in the Rye" writ dramatic. More Judeo-Christian narcissism.

For a more interesting take on that, you'd have to read "Brave New World," and not the odious spoon-fed simplisticism of "1984."

"Dr. Strangelove" however is the one movie that made a truly terrible fear into a tunnel of laughter. I used to use this to test potential girlfriend material. If she didn't get it... she didn't get a call back. nihilist (URL) - 11-03-’12 11:07
Brett Stevens fan
Another great one is "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". A classic that surpasses "Dr. Strangelove" and "Taxi Driver". Brett Stevens fan - 11-03-’12 12:39
All quiet on the western front silences all of the films mentioned...
both versions are superb..
2nd will be the cube... Benny - 11-03-’12 18:39
Film Major
@Benny: I'm a little red-faced to admit I've never seen All Quiet on the Western Front. I'll change that soon. Thanks for the tip.

@nihilist: yes, that's perfect, Catcher in the Rye is the perfect analogue to Taxi Driver. They're what I like to call first ballots in the Facebook Favorites Hall of Fame. Film Major - 12-03-’12 14:49
josef haddad
"the more you drive, the less smart you become!" josef haddad (URL) - 15-03-’12 05:11
Repoman was definitely more entertaining than expected but it is hardly a 'masterpiece of cinema'. Above average in today's buffet for sure, but what does that say? Also the end sequence was just a montage of scenes from greater films. A. (Email ) - 25-03-’12 02:36

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