Monday, March 08, 2010

Animal House Soundtrack

A cult movie, a prototype for the "college" genre and the first appearance of a nonconformist and brutal character, the student (?) John "Bluto" Blutarsky, interpreted by John Belushi, soon after again with director John Landis in Blues Brothers, with the very similar character Jakie Blues. The movie starts as a parody of the well known fictions and films about the 50s and 60s years, seen as the "age of innocence" before the 1968 (or the 1963, the year of JFK assassination), as Happy Days or American Graffiti, the George Lucas movie of 1973.

The story is quite simple and it's based around two "fresher", Pinto (Tom Hulce) and Flounder (the nickname decided by Bluto (Stephen Furst). They have to choice the club, and they started from the good boys' one, Omega it's the name. They are gently invited to remain apart with other unlucky members, and they decided so to try another club, the rival of Omega, the Delta club. A total chaos, strange guys (as Bluto), they are aware that they are going probably to meet several troubles, but it's too much funny, and so they join the Delta.

The remaining of the story is based on the rivality of the two clubs and the actions they invent to defy the "enemy". In this way the other characters are presented: the conscious epicurean Otter (Tim Matheson), the girl of the Delta Katy (Karen Allen) and her boy-friend Boon (Peter Reiter), room mate and accomplice of Otter, the mad biker D-Day (Bruce McGill), Hoover, the president of the Delta Club, the teacher Jennings, interpreted by Donald Sutherland, marijuana smoker and very much interested to Katy, and the rivals, the perfect american boys Neidermeyer and Marmalard and their girls Mandy and Babs, very much appreciated by Bluto and by the other Delta guys.

Delta boys' jokes and transgressions can be read as a reaction to the fifties habits or, more simply, as the consciousness to be the new generation, with new habits and no respect for the old ones. And the perfect representation of the new era is the famous Toga party, no limits, no respect, zero tolerance for the high-minded feelings.

The parade in the town nearby the college is the final apotheosis of the movie, a real battle between the two clubs involving all the population, with Bluto dressed as the pirates and that howls "no prisoners!" and moreover the maximum offense to the spirit of the early sixties, racial integration and other high ideals, the black and white hands separating together (more realistically).

The best gags are the final ones, as in American Graffiti the spectators are informed about the adult life of all these boys and girls, and we learn so how much the real life is full of surprises.

You can read the complete soundtrack, a summary of the plot, a selection of images captured by the movie, the characters, the interpreters, on Music-Graffiti website.

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