Running away from Hollywood's trappings
When I located Little Fugitive on the Internet Movie Database, to create a link, I was struck silly by the five films that the IMDB was recommending to me. Right there, as plain as day the site states – If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
The Warriors, City by the Sea, Grace is Gone, Jaws 2, Fahrenheit 9/11
What exactly are they assuming I enjoyed about Little Fugitive? And, what exactly do these films have in common with Little Fugitive?
I consider Little Fugitive to be a cornerstone of American independent cinema. It is a small miracle; a wonderfully crafted, touching example of how a small idea working well within its limitations can make a huge impact.
So, why recommend Jaws 2? Why not the first Jaws? Last I recall, the shark was prowling the coast of Amity not Coney Island. I am sure the Coney Island connection may explain why The Warriors gets suggested, but I can think of ten other films, more in the spirit of Little Fugitive that also have scenes at Coney Island. I don’t think City by the Sea has anything to do with eight year old runaway or Coney Island. I never saw it, but I think it had something to do with Atlantic City and Al Pacino or was it Deniro. Does it matter? Grace is Gone is another film I haven’t seen, but I know it has something to do with John Cusack taking his kid’s on a road trip before telling them their mom died in the war on terrorism. So, perhaps there are issues of innocence at play in each film. I give that one a pass. I guess I am also supposed to give Fahrenheit 9/11 a pass because it was a hugely successful independent film and so was Little Fugitive. However, if that was the standard for a recommendation, why not the Blair WItch Project? At least that was fictional and about lost youngsters.
I only wish one could do a reverse recommendation. I want a way to see what films would point me to Little Fugitive. Would Under the Rainbow send me to Little Fugitive or would Natural Born Killers recommend Little Fugitive to me?
Speaking of Natural Born Killers, a young man here in Milwaukee just killed his girlfriend. His excuse? He had watched Natural Born Killers one too many times and something snapped inside of him. The victim was slated to be an art student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this fall. Now, I just know that somewhere, probably even on the campus of UWM, some professor has shown or is showing their class Natural Born Killers and treating that piece of garbage like a piece of art. While Little Fugitive does not even get mentioned or shown. Here is a film that re-affirms the joy of life and instead we have instructors who would rather teach classes on Tarantino, Stone, or torture and violence in films. Why teach that when its obvious that so many young adults need to be reminded about the value of life? Is it easier? Is it cooler?