Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Who's Afraid of the 1980s?

I watched This is England while I was away in Valencia. Nothing like a bit of gritty northern misery to remind you of home.

The film is set in a rough bit of the north the early 1980s - the 12 year old protaganist would have been a year older than me.

I didn't "get" most of the 1980s. About a month of it made sense in 1988 when I think I briefly became the person who Top of the Pops was aimed at, but the rest of it was an incomprehensible blur. I didn't get the fashions or the music. The news didn't make sense. Everyone seemed to take themselves so seriously. I didn't understand why anyone would vote in horrible robotic Mrs Thatcher("she hates notherners" we were told) or why everyone seemed so miserable apart from a handful of "yuppies" in London who seemed to be having a whale of a time. I think I was autistic for the whole decade - utterly left out and with very little way of getting in. Instead, I turned my back on the whole thing and sought solace in my parents' 1970s albums, glamorous 1950s musicals, and images of the Swinging 60s - all decades which I seemed somehow much better suited for.

The opening credits of This is England encapsulate the whole decade in about 3 minutes. I have a lot of trouble watching this - now it makes too much sense. And it moves me to tears in some parts.

1 comment:

KAZ said...

I'm in Catalunya at the moment.
I'd like to see this one - in the 80s I 'sought solace' in work and opera.