Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Informers

I've just finished watching The Informers. Its a new film written by Bret Easton Ellis based on his book of the same name which was published in 1994. The book is actually a collection of thirteen short stories, and this film has done its best to adapt these stories. It was directed by Gregor Jordan and features an ensemble cast, such as Winona Ryder, Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke, and Kim Basinger. It also was Brad Renfro's last film before his untimely death. The film basically covers stories of seven of the film's characters with these stories  taking place over the course of one week in 1983 Los Angeles. These stories cover the lives of movie executives, rock stars, and other morally challenged characters.

This film was by no means great, in fact, I'm not even sure if it is even good, but for a number of reasons, it ended up kicking me in the stomach.  In an instant, I was transported back to the year that I turned nineteen, 1983! This was to be a seminal year for me and my friends. This was the year that we graduated high school and were about to enter university. Our whole lives were supposedly stretched out in front of us, as in, the world was our oyster. We were invincible, or so we thought.  We dreamed of going off to uni, being away from home and anyone that knew us. We imagined that this would be our time to finally be sexually free, to be able to experiment and to be able to do this without fear of any consequences. How quickly this was all shattered and destroyed.

1983 was also a time when we had first started to hear about some mystery illness that  initially seemed to be randomly killing only gays and IV drug users. A plague of sorts. A plague that was also extremely terrifying especially since the medical community at the time appeared so utterly baffled and helpless. Uncertainty was everywhere. Once the heterosexual population started to show signs of this illness, fears escalated rapidly, as did denial. The medical community had yet to announce how this illness was spreading nor how it could be prevented from spreading.

One thing, though, that we seemed to recognize instinctively, were any thoughts of us finally being able to have indiscriminate sexual encounters would have to end if we were to remain immune. So much for us going off to university with thoughts of anonymous one night stands dancing in  our heads. Didn't matter any more if we were on the pill as a much larger issue now existed. Not getting pregnant would be the least of our worries. The party really was over, as was our innocence.

This movies touches so many aspects of what me and my friends were going through in our own personal lives twenty six years ago. It seems eerie watching it now, almost voyeuristic. It also almost appears to be a sequel to Ellis's book/movie Less Than Zero. The book originally was published back in 1985, with the movie of the same name coming out a couple of years later, although there were a lot of changes and departures. What may really end up being interesting will be if Ellis does indeed publish a sequel to Less Than Zero, something he has been promising for a little while now.

P.S. Speaking of the above movie, I just had to go and dig it out to watch yet again. Even though its a bit on the dated side, it still remains one of my favourites from that time period.

1 comment:

Nellie said...

I've wanted to see both of those movies but they're hard to find at mainstream stores or rental places. I'll have to get off my ass and try harder.