Around Town: Pretty in Pink @ AMC Hoffman Center 22, 2/17/16

Blane, Andie, and Duckie of “Pretty in Pink” (Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures)

Editor’s Note: To mark the 30th anniversary of the movie, a special viewing of John Hughes’ “Pretty in Pink” screened nationwide on Sunday, Feb. 14. You can see it also on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in DC metro at AMC Hoffman Center 22 (206 Swamp Fox Rd., Alexandria, Va.), with showtimes at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are available online. Parklife DC contributor Neal Keller caught the film and shared some thoughts with us in this essay.

A Valentine for Andie

Among the things I could appreciate without hesitation was the soundtrack of now-classic 80’s New Wave tunes in “Pretty in Pink.” There were some misgivings nonetheless. While the film’s music credits were definitely a draw for nascent hipsters like myself back then, I’ll confess that I never liked the New Order song that debuted on the soundtrack. I always thought “Shellshock” was New Order by the numbers, and a sign that they were getting ready to sell out. Already a strike against the film, before it even hit the theaters!

But let’s talk about the notion of “selling out.” It’s an entirely teenage accusation that probably shouldn’t survive into adulthood. Nevertheless, the accusation was thrown at the character of Allison (Ally Sheedy) in “The Breakfast Club.” Allison forsakes her proto goth girl soul for a date with a member of the wrestling team. Well, if submitting to a makeover for the sake of the jock in “The Breakfast Club” counts as a transgression, then threadbare Andie’s leap to the other side of the tracks for the sake of a preppie rich kid in “Pretty in Pink” must rate as a mortal SIN.

Continue Reading

All Things Must Pass: Review and Recollections from My Tower Records Days

Tower Records
Tower Records on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles circa 1980 (Photo courtesy “All Things Must Pass”)

Editor’s Note:All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records” documents the history of the iconic music retail company, once based in Sacramento, Calif. It’s playing locally at Landmark E Street Cinema. Our own Neal Keller, DJ, sound engineer, and man o’ music, worked at the DC location of Tower Records (formerly at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC) from 1985-1994. Here, he shares some memories in response to seeing the documentary.

DC employees of Tower Records (including Neal, left), photographed for US News and World Report sometime in the late ’80s, as they hold up their favorite records of the week. Neal’s record is Richard Kirk’s “Black Jesus Voice.”

Continue Reading