always play with their minds

I was going to watch Howl one more time, give myself another opportunity to rant about the state of the world or to wax poetic, or some combination of their two. But, we mustn't dwell.

No, not today.

We can't.

Not on Rex Manning Day.

That is to say, today is the day that Rex Manning (Maxwell Caulfield) visited Empire Records back in 1995. And, since Empire Records is old enough to drink, I've got myself a drink, and since it's Rex Manning Day, well, I'm watching Empire Records. I also saw Deadpool a second time today and watched and livetweeted a sweet little creepy doll horror film called Robert because I just couldn't pass that up.

And then, Lucas (Rory Cochrane) just had to drive past Trump Plaza... twice, because he wants me, twenty one years in the future, to rant about politics. But, I'm going to resist. Because it is 1995 right now, there's a lot of good, and definitely evocative, mid-90s music going on, and mid-90s, I was not that into politics because... Well, I guess it was because I was busy working and seeing movies. Hell, in 1995, I worked at a movie theater. I believe Empire Records was at the other theater in Old Town, but I still saw it opening weekend.... I'm pretty sure.

That weekend was also opening weekend for SE7EN and Showgirls. If I remember rightly, it was like this that weekend:

UA Marketplace (aka where I worked)AMC One Colorado (aka the underground)
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie NewmarClockers
Dangerous MindsThe Usual Suspects
BraveheartMortal Kombat
Batman ForeverAngus
Apollo 13
Empire Records

I'd seen all of those... Well, I'm not sure I ever actually sat down to watch To Wong Foo from beginning to end, but I had seen all of it. Nitpicker's note: we might've still had Casper instead of Batman Forever; they'd both been around a while, and I can't claim that I remember how long either one was around. (Or maybe Braveheart was gone and we still had both Casper and Batman Forever.) I saw Batman Forever at a midnight screening the Thursday night before it opened back in June, and this was when Thursday night openings were not yet really a thing. (Also, this was back when record stores were still a thing.) I saw Casper... I don't know, sometime that summer. This was September.

September 1995. I spent my time seeing movies, working at the theater, or watching tv. I wasn't writing daily yet. That would come in 1996 when I was working a desk job. Novels, short stories, screenplays... Eventually scholarly papers and this blog because you can't just write the same stuff all the time. Not that I don't still imagine writing fiction for a living...






And, I just noticed that Johnny Whitworth seems to be going for a Christian Slater vibe here. I had to look him up to see what happened to him. I knew he was in Bye Bye Love, out a few months before Empire Records, he was on Gun, but apparently he did a lot of TV work and still is. Not that anyone from this movie is huge today. Renee Zellweger was pretty big for a while, I guess. Liv Tyler, Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar, Ethan Embry, Robin Tunney--they've all worked pretty steadily.






This was the year of Clueless and Mallrats, mid-90s youth trying to figure themselves out, or to be figured out. And, for a period when young people were generally doing okay in movies, it's surprising coming back to this movie and seeing how many of these characters have obvious damage they're dealing with.

America, right? Damaged people dancing the day away as if nothing's wrong.

And, I wasn't going to get into politics today.


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