Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds
Now these kinds of tasks are often rather difficult. From the entire plethora of cinema having to choose one character that you wish you could be is a monumental task. Strangely though for me, when it came to my choice, it was obvious. I wanted to be cool and say Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name or Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver but that wouldn’t have been right. As soon as I posed this “I Wish I Was…” question to myself I saw Michael J. Fox’s face floating up into my subconscious.
But why you ask???
It boils down to several reasons; the first being that generally when you fall in love with movies like I have you go through a juvenile phase where Steven Spielberg films become quite important to you. Think Jaws, Jurassic Park or E.T. For me though the Back To The Future films always resonated with me in a way like no other film could. Pure escapism is the aim of any avid cinema fan and with the first two installments (I try to forget I’ve ever seen Part III) that goal is achieved on every repeated reviewing. You have time travel, science fiction, death defying action and laugh out loud comedy that all culminates into the cinematic feast that is Back To The Future.
Now it’s not only me that feels this way. Screening outfit Secret Cinema recently built a mock-up of the entire of Hill Valley for a special immersive screening of the first movie. With shops and performers alike coming together to show their love for the film and its characters. It’s almost an unspoken love, you’ll have a knowing look with someone that shares your passion for Back To The Future it’s universally loved but also personally cherished. I have often found myself unable to really quantify what it is that I adore about it, it’s just fucking brilliant and that’s that.
Marty McFly however is my cinematic icon for a very important reason. Cue to the tiny violins… but growing up I would personally say that I was more like Marty’s weasel father George, the George of 1950’s we meet in Back To The Future: Part 1. So for me Marty is the manifestation of everything that I wanted to be as an adolescent male. He had a girlfriend, he could skateboard, he could play electric guitar and best of all … he stood up to bullies. Marty McFly is the teenage boy we all wish we could have been. He was by no means the good boy but he trod the fine line between obedience and anarchy that made him so beloved to me growing up.
My favourite sequence is in the first film, you know the one, where Marty trips Thomas F. Wilson‘s Biff who then stands up in order to show his full imposing height. Marty isn’t afraid to throw the first punch and lands one right on Biff’s chin. He proceeds to skateboard around Hill Valley square whilst trying to avoid Biff’s gang in their black convertible. Oh and he does more than that to, in a fantastic sequence Marty escapes and sends Biff and co. head first into a manure truck as they all scream “SHITTTTTTT” I’ve laughed many times in my life but nothing can take away the euphoria of when you first see that action unfold.
I Wish I Was Marty McFly for some many reasons many of which are deeply personal to me, some of which I’ve shared here and others which I’ll never disclose. I always longed to see the past and the future unfold as well as my present expand. I’ve often wished I could climb inside the DeLorean go back and drop a nut on some of my high school tormentors or even put some well placed bets on predetermined sports fixtures. Even to be best friends with a raving mad inventor would have improved my life greatly between the ages of 12-18.
To summarise, if you can make a red gilet look cool then you’ve clearly got massive balls. So I choose Marty McFly… he was the only option really.