“And when he (the Lamb of God) had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:7-8 (KJV)
Although some may dismiss these verses as improperly applied words never directly referenced in the film, I have to believe Elem Klimov had them in mind when he directed Come and See (1985), one of the most devastating works of art I’ve ever experienced in any format. To watch it, you might want to take a day off from work and have your favorite comedy or comfort movie nearby for afterwards. I’m totally serious. Yet anyone undertaking the film will soon realize that all the Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, or works from any other comedy masters will never erase the power of this film. Unless you do not possess a heart, Come and See will leave you shattered.
Vision Quest (1985)
Directed by Harold Becker
Produced by Joh Peters, Peter Guber
Screenplay by Darryl Ponicsan
Based on the novel Vision Quest by Terry Davis
Cinematography by Owen Roizman
Music by Tangerine Dream
Warner Bros. DVD (1:47)
I first saw Vision Quest shortly after it appeared on cable TV, probably in late 1985 or early 1986. The film resonated with me for several reasons, primarily because I believed I was on my own vision quest. It was my first year of teaching and I found my own drive mirrored in Louden Swain’s quest to defeat the toughest wrestler in the state. I wanted not only to be a great teacher, a great band director, but I wanted to be great early in my career, so great that people would think I’d been teaching somewhere else for years. In my mind, Vision Quest was nothing short of a call to action. How did that turn out for me? Keep reading.
The Sure Thing (1985) Rob Reiner (3x)
Shout! Factory Blu-ray (1:35)
Even when I saw The Sure Thing for the first time during its initial release, I knew there was something that separated it from typical teenage sex comedies. In fact, despite its title, The Sure Thing is not a sex comedy. Sure, there’s talk of sex (the entire plot depends on it) and there’s comedy, but it’s not really a sex comedy.
It’s a love story. And as corny as it may sound, it’s the kind of love story they don’t make anymore.
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) Tim Burton
Warner DVD – library (1:30)
I watched a lot of movies in the mid-80s, but Pee-wee’s Big Adventure wasn’t one of them. Maybe that’s because I was hearing “Tequila” on the radio every five minutes or watching one of my junior high band students doing the Pee-wee dance as they were walking down the halls. But after hearing about the new movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, I decided to try the original, 30+ years later.