Friday, November 28, 2008

Some Kind of Great Opening Sequence

My TiVo recorded a classic 80s movie for me the other night that has one of the greatest opening sequences in movie history. It was Howard Deutch's Some Kind of Wonderful, one of the lesser regarded films written by John Hughes, the author who tapped into the teenage psyche of that era.  What's great about this opening is that with nothing more than the pulsating beat of Abuse by Propaganda the basic story is laid out. 

All the teen movie cliches are presented: The dirt-under-his-fingernails kid from the wrong side of the tracks (showing him literally cross the tracks) who walks forlornly past the home of the pretty girl romping in her bedroom with the spoiled rich kid who's rebelling in his own way with her because she's just barely on the right side of the tracks. All the while the rebel girl pounds away on her garage drum set keeping beat with the music. You hear her story purely in the visuals. You see her torn jeans, black Doc Martin boots, torn white t-shift and red bandanas wrapped around her hands. 
What a classic way to establish all the main characters and waste no time or dialogue setting up the story. 
It's not a great movie -- it's actually a gender bending remake of Hughes true classic, Pretty in Pink -- but the dialogue is vintage Hughes.  

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