Monday 28 November 2011

Ten Reasons To Come And Watch Footloose With Me Next Week

It's just eleven short days until Thursday December 8th, when The Incredible Suit's Cumbersomely Titled Very Good Film And Quiz Night presents the original Footloose at the Stratford Picturehouse in East London, and oddly there are still tickets available here.

Research indicates that many of you haven't yet seen Footloose and can see no obvious reason to do so, so I'm here to give you ten very good reasons. Eleven, if you count "I'll cut myself if nobody turns up".

It's totally, utterly, 100% eighties
Officially cinema's most 1980s feet

If, like me, you yearn for a time before iPhones, The X Factor, movie spoilers, everything being too loud, "celebrities", health and safety, more than four TV channels, call centres in India, Nick Knowles and movie blogs written by unqualified nobodies, then a) you should GET OVER IT GRANDAD, and b) Footloose is for you. It's packed with mullets, leg warmers and synthesised pop and has a ludicrous premise, unlikely dance sequences and Kevin Bacon in a vest.

I can't believe you'd need nine more reasons, but I'm going to carry on regardless.

Chris Tookey's synopsis
As if being forbidden to dsance isn't bad enough, dancing has also been banned. Not sure why Tookey didn't mention that.

Peepers peeled: it's '80s Movie Mom!
She's no Mary Ellen Trainor, but Frances Lee McCain - who plays Kevin Bacon's mum - has one of Hollywood's most celebrated wombs of the 1980s. The characters she played also spawned Gremlins' Billy Peltzer, Stand By Me's Gordie Lachance, and Back To The Future's Lorraine Baines. Rumour has it she wore deelyboppers on her ovaries.

The Angry Dance
You've seen it in Billy Elliot, Hot Rod and Flight Of The Conchords, but Kevin Bacon's Angry Dance is the original and still the best.  Massive incidental kudos to for this ad placement on the YouTube clip of Angry Dance '84:

The homoerotic dance montage
Gotta have a montage, and Footloose's - in which Kevin Bacon teaches new BFF Chris Penn to dance, albeit like Pinocchio on elastic - is a corker. If you're planning a thesis on gay subtext in mainstream Hollywood cinema then you could do a lot worse than make this scene your first port of call. Your second should probably be the men's shower room scene.


The motivational speech
You can keep your "They'll never take our freedom", your "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers" and your "What we do in life echoes in eternity": the sight of Kevin Bacon declaring "There is a time to dance... this is our time" would be enough to convince a horde of angry, hairy Scotsmen to start bodypopping there and then.

John Lithgow in "character over cliché" shocker
Pitching your young protagonists against a stuffy old Christian is a recipe for pantomime villainy, especially when the antagonistic God-botherer in question is John Lithgow, an actor prone to fits of raging scene-chewing and over-the-toppery. But Lithgow, assisted by writer Dean Pitchford and director Herbert Ross, is led not into temptation and delivers a sympathetic performance as a flawed man trying to understand a changing world.

Sadly that means there's not much of this kind of thing:

The soundtrack
Kenny Loggins - "Footloose"

Bonnie Tyler - "Holding Out For A Hero"

Moving Pictures - "Never"

"If you don't give your heart wings you'll never, never, never ever never, never, never ever fly". The very words I live by.

Turn up nice and early (let's say 6.30) and I'll be hosting a free quiz for anyone who knows stuff about films and that. There'll be actual prizes "up for grabs", and I'm reasonably confident that some of them won't be shit.

The quiz starts promptly at 7pm in the Stratford Picturehouse bar and is free to anyone who's come to watch Footloose. There's a maximum team size of six people, and it'll be worth attending just to see if there's another mighty face-off between Team Shiznit and Cheval, scourges of film quiz teams across London.


So there you have it. If you still don't want to come then you're either mad or dead, and either way I want nothing further to do with you. And if any of that's convinced you, there are more infodeets here. Jump back!


  1. I was in Team Cheval once, back in the days before they got good and started winning stuff. (And possibly before they started calling themselves Team Cheval.) I am the Pete Best of movie quiz teams.