Pump Up the Volume

Pump Up the Volume

A movie I saw for the first time as an adult that I imagine might've really shaped me in a major way had I seen it growing up. I love it anyway. It is bold, in the way the early 90s could be bold. Slater, my first celebrity crush, proves he has acting chops here for any doubters unconvinced by Heathers -- not just carrying the whole movie, but doing so primarily by nailing a slew of lengthy and impassioned monologues. Writer-director Allan Moyle -- to whom, between this and Empire Records, loner kids of the 90s owe some great debt; and who, to my utter amazement, I learn was forty-fucking-three when this movie was released! -- seizes upon the crippling loneliness, emerging sexuality, and desire for self-expression that all current and former teenagers can recognize, folding it into an eerily prescient story that would quickly become vindicated by the same technology that now admittedly dates it. One of my favorites. Seen previously only on DVD, the 35mm print shown at the Drafthouse looked brand new.

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