[Crash course for newcomers: We’re conducting a three-year experiment in which, for every year, we have to watch the same movie once a week. I had Top Gun last year, in the category Movie You Don’t Love, But Don’t Hate. This year I have Back to the Future for Movie You Love. Check out what everyone else is watching on our Cinemanauts page. These are my experiment results for September 2013.]
Wow. September was a crazy month. Let’s begin.
FATHER KNOWS WORST:
If you read the article where I had my father over to watch Back to the Future, the story didn’t end after I interviewed him about his high school experiences. We hung out the rest of the day (Sept. 7, 2013), and things got… Back to the Future-y. He started talking about spending time with my mother after their divorce; he was apparently dropping by to fix things up around her house. I told him that was pretty nice of him to do, and he of course revealed that it was all a ploy to win her back. And then, in that moment, I found myself enacting The Reverse McFly: I had to teach my own rather clueless father how to avoid my mother, instead of wooing her.
And my version doesn’t even involve time travel. Booooo.
Astute readers may notice a key difference between the movie and the scenario I found myself in. While Marty and his father are the same age thanks to the magic of temporal displacement, I was trying to teach basic lessons in how not to be a depressingly sad human being to a man thirty years my senior. This is why I had flashback after flashback to the film during the entire conversation, because I found myself just as bewildered as Marty that my father could be so blind to his strange and borderline creepy behavior, and it was only worsened by the fact that he’s typically the one who’s supposed to be giving advice to me.
I feel your pain, Marty.
Now, looking back, I can see how this is a completely new situation for him. His generation isn’t used to dealing with divorce (though, frankly, I’m no expert either), so it’s unfair to label him as an aimlessly confused dope of George McFly proportions. Still, that didn’t stop the comparisons from flowing into my head as I tried to steer him through the horrible quagmire that is “the friend zone” without turning him into a weirdo douchebag. I was fighting to not adopt Marty’s exasperated mannerisms or flat-out quote the movie, though I may have let slip the title of this article. I even mentioned Back to the Future by name at one point, trying to get him to understand that there are circumstances in which the son may have a better view of the big picture than the father. Sometimes you have to speak Movie to get through to my dad.
Parents, am I right? *slide whistle, fart*
GARBAGE IN, TIME TRAVEL OUT:
On September 17th, 2003 (at 4:48pm EST, wouldn’t ya know?), I was taking the recycling downstairs and became frustrated as I sorted out every fucking piece into whichever bin the Eco-Demons demanded. “Hmm,” I thought. “It would be so much easier if we could turn all of our trash into something useful. Like electricity! Oh man. Fuck recycling. If there was just a machine that we could toss our garbage into and it would zap it into raw power, that would be so much simpler than all of this sorting bullshit. We could ship it away to a big plant and it could provide energy to all of our homes. Or maybe we could make little mini-versions to put on the back of our cars– FUCK.”
I’ve got this other idea for a sword made of lasers… wait, we have that???
MEN DON’T THINK ABOUT SAX EVERY EIGHT SECONDS:
On September 20th, 2013, at approximately 1:00am EST, I had a saxophone solo stuck in my head that I just couldn’t place. As it gnawed its way into my brain and took root in my very soul, I began to wonder the last time I listened to anything with saxophone in it. After classifying it as decidedly Eighties and removing all the funk or Motown soul I might have listened to recently from the list, the best I could come up with was Saturday Night Live. Suddenly, doi. It was from “Back in Time,” the Huey Lewis and the News song from the end credits of Back to the Future.
Curse you, Johnny Colla.
This result, coupled with my inability to realize that Mr. Fusion already existed as a fictional concept despite looking at it every week for the past eight months, may be the dawn of an interesting new trend. Last year, when I was watching Top Gun every week for science, I was reminded of the movie constantly, which bugged me because I wasn’t really the biggest fan of it. But Back to the Future, a beloved film that I already have stored in my brain, is somehow being erased from my memory as a result of repeated exposure to it. Now, we’re all self-monitoring Fake Movie Scientists here, so this is pure testimonial, but it’s the sort of thing that makes me wish a real scientific institution would take an interest in our project and get some lab coats and clipboards in here. Also, actual scientific procedures.
Pictured: typically unscientific procedures.
I usually separate my results into the Top Gun pile and the Back to the Future basket, but today is a very special occasion, because I may be the first Cinemanaut to have a double-movie crossover dream. Yeah. Brace yourself.
September 9th, 2013
I dreamed I was being scolded in Navy flight school for pranking a senior officer on his birthday. Apparently, I had put old man make-up on him while he was asleep. I claimed to have honed my skills by watching lots of movies, at which point I griped about the make-up in the Back to the Future franchise, specifically Part II. I never saw the senior officer in my dream, but whoever’s in charge of casting in my subconscious would have royally fucked up if it wasn’t James Tolkan.
This guy is seriously pissed about my rock star attitude.
September 10th, 2013
I dreamed that Katy Perry was cast in Back to the Future Part IV, but she dropped out once she saw the trailer.
Which is a shame, because it looks like her and Doc would totally get along.
HOW ‘BOUT THAT TOP GUN?
Besides my Navy dream, the only Top Gun-related occurrence in my life this month involved walking into a Dunkin’ Donuts on September 20th, 2013, at approximately 2:54am EST. While ordering a beverage, I heard a generic ’80s tune in the background. It was not too quiet to make out; I clearly heard the tune and the lyrics, and I did not recognize it for about a minute. Which is weird, because it was “Take My Breath Away,” the Oscar-winning hit song that the band Berlin recorded for the soundtrack to Top Gun. I didn’t figure this out until the chorus.
Clearly, both Back to the Future and Top Gun are being erased from my mind at differing rates. Further investigation is required.