An iconic tribute to a culture, place and state of mind that defined small town America in the early 80s. It is a universal moment in time, when everything you know to be true starts fading. The story is personal, yet familiar, set against a visually arresting landscape of music and vistas of Americana. Written by
Shake It Up
Written by Ric Ocasek
Published by Universal Music Corp. on behalf of itself and Lido Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by The Cars
Courtesy of Elektra Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more »
Anthony Burns along with Brandon and Heath Freeman wanted to write and make their first movie about East Texas in the early 1980s where they grew up. The tag line of the movie expresses what they were trying to capture, " It was a time when life was easy ...in a place they though would never change." Skateland was the town roller rink where the young people gathered and some hung around or returned there even after graduating High School. The film focuses on a crowd where everyone smoked, drank beer and jockeyed for their boy girl relationships. The two main characters are Brent Burkam (Health Freeman) slightly older than the rest who unsuccessfully raced motorcycles for a few years and comes back to town to hang around with buddies such as Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez) who is about to graduate high school. He is the assistant manager of the roller rink and can't decide what to do with his life. There are shades of young Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfus, playing characters trying to figure out their lives in American Graffiti with the 1970s take on that decade. Jump forward ten years and we have the constant music beat of the 80s setting the background for the young peoples angst, mixed with drinking, parties, cars and some violence. While the story is about the guys, there is an interesting influence of the women. Ritchie's younger sister Mary(Haley Romm) and his girl friend Michelle(Ashley Greene) are the strong characters of the movie perhaps reflecting the women's movement as did the actions of Richies Mom (Melinda McGraw). While the setting and life style may not quite be the early 80s of the northeast where our kids grew up, this young movie team has created an enduring period piece. The photography, setting and the direction is definitely first rate . We may look back on this film and realize that it was a breakout for several of the actors who were excellent. The movie earned a slot at the Sundance Film Festival which is not an easy accomplishment for an Indie low budget film which was a first time effort for the Director and writers. It will have distribution and will open in late March- early April in NY and LA. (2011)
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