National Lampoon's Animal House
last seen @ Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, New York, NY
I went to college here in New York, but I almost went away. There was a school in Rhode Island that I was accepted to, and if not for the costly tuition, I would've gone. Naturally, I liked the idea of spending four years in another part of the country. Still, I'm glad I ended up where I did. School of Visual Arts was good for me; I had some excellent teachers and I made some good friends.
Still, I wonder sometimes what it would've been like to have gone to a school out of the city, where I would've had to have lived on campus. I don't know if I would've joined a fraternity or not. I see it as one of those things that I would've done and regretted later for some reason. Besides, I did my share of partying without belonging to a fraternity.
Animal House is, of course, more than a movie about college hijinks. Like American Graffiti before it, it's a tribute to what we laughingly think of as a "simpler" time. It's still funny, though maybe not quite as funny as I remember it. Mostly I like it, as I'm sure many people do, for John Belushi, and for the amazing comic talent that he had on display. (Apropos of nothing: the site College Humor recently ranked the best college movies and Animal House finished second to Will Ferrell's Old School. Not sure I like that!)
Central Park has been in the news lately on account of reports that bikers have been going too fast on the roads inside the park. A blind marathon runner was hit by a cyclist, which made the front pages of the tabloids. The Daily News in particular has gone to great lengths to present bikers as a menace to society. It's not that they're wrong to report about this, it's more the extreme measures the tabloids (and certain websites) take in order to paint bikers in general in the worst light while routinely ignoring the damage cars do every week. It's frustrating...
...but it had no bearing on the screening last Friday. I ran into my friend Terry while heading to the subway afterwards, and while we were talking she brought up a point about outdoor movies in general that I don't think I've mentioned here: the propensity of some moviegoers to bring a plethora of "fancy" snacks - basically, the kind of stuff you'd get from Whole Foods, like fancy cheese, grapes, crackers made someplace in Europe with different kinds of dip, etc. Maybe it's a New York thing. I don't necessarily think ill of it, but it is kinda funny.