Author(s): James King
Could a Fifties Western sell as many tickets as 2014's Secret Cinema run of Back To The Future? (The BTTF event made GBP3.5 million over five weeks last summer). And in thirty years' time, who really believes that pop culture will be buzzing about actors from those Noughties 'found footage' films in the way it's still fascinated by former Eighties teen stars to this day? Here are films about ends of terms, life-changing vacations and days off. What teenager wouldn't want to watch something so perfectly in tune with their own life? Hollywood in the Eighties was perfectly poised to exploit such teenage emotions. Vietnam was over, Nixon was gone, the economy boomed. The serious Seventies were done and dusted. Marketing teams revelled in the chance to make the most of soundtrack albums, merchandise and MTV, turning adolescent dreams into a commodity like never before.Fast Times and Excellent Adventures is an inside look at how the movie world got to that position . . . and what it did with the power. It's the story of a genre that's more than just the easy nostalgia it threatens to have become. It's a snapshot of an era - mid-Seventies through early Nineties - and the passionate directors, visionary producers and hungry teenage megastars that filled it.Fast Times and Excellent Adventures echoes popular film histories such as Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind, Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes by John Pierson and the Don Simpson-biog High Concept by Charles Fleming; all books that combine incident with information and where social history, Hollywood gossip and mise-en-scene combine.
Mark Kermode calls James King 'one of my favourite film critics and he writes with wit, flair and schoolboy-ish enthusiasm.' King has presented movie shows for BBC Radio 1, 5Live, ITV and Sky and is an ambassador for BAFTA's annual Rising Star award. Matthew Broderick once signed his VHS copy of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.