Film Seizure #188 – American Graffiti

The second week in Film Seizure’s Back to School Month takes us to Modesto, California in George Lucas’ loving and sentimental American Graffiti.

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  1. One thing about the girls pawning their 14 year old sister (Mackenzie Phillips) is that… I think Geoff and Chuck were right, and basically calling on your earlier point, that ’62 was (the beginning of) the end of the innocence. Most every place still had a small town culture, where people knew each other. You’re right, it was before the assassinations, Vietnam and so forth, also Watergate, which sprang onto news broadcasts a couple of weeks before shooting started. A ‘look back’ will emphasize the innocence, but one really big thing that changed on a dime in ’69 may also be big in terms of people swapping cars.


    Manson ended that. There was a solid before and after the Tate/Lobianco murders on hitchhiking, like a wall dropped. Before August of ’69, hitching a ride was commonplace and considered safe, and after those events, it all but stopped. This is one of the reasons it’s so prevalent in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, because it so represents the before of that, and the immediacy of that before. Growing up in the late 70’s, people constantly warned kids, “Never hitchhike!” which mystified us, because if they hadn’t said that, we wouldn’t have known what it was. It simply wasn’t a thing anymore, but to our parents, for whom 8 years ago wasn’t a whole lifetime, like it was for us, its something that changed in their adulthood. Recent.

    With that as a part of car culture, rides given and taken by total strangers being as socially understood as holding the door open for someone with their arms full, those girls ditching Carol fits a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

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