Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Great Scenes 3: Almost Famous

Cameron Crowe's wistful autobiographical film Almost Famous about his years writing for Rolling Stone as a teenager is a wondrous snapshot of the early 1970s. Nostalgic, yet realistic. This scene early in the film recounts his sister (Zooey Deschanel) deciding to leave home, inspired by Simon and Garfunkel's "America" as her mother played by Frances McDormand disapproves. The majestic song romanticizes youth and freedom on the highway, yet at the same time has a melancholy undercurrent, suggesting a nation of lost souls desperately trying to live up to some abstract ideal. Perhaps there was a time when a song could lead a young person to go their own way, defying expectations and creating new ones.

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