BLINDED BY THE LIGHT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Disaffected misfit teen saved by rock ’n’ roll? Woo-hoo! It’s a tale as old as time… or at least as old as, what, 1955? (This one is set in 1987.) Is this ever not good stuff? Is this ever not a story that most weirdos who came of age in the late 20th century can identify with?

There is a comforting familiarity for filmmaker Gurinder Chadha‘s GenXer in Blinded by the Light, but I also welcome the hearty rejection of the idea that nostalgia is universally a positive thing. Among all the feel-good danceableness here in the joy and the solace and the sense of being seen that pop music can bring, there’s a reminder for those of us who were teens in the 1980s — *waves hello* — that some important stuff really has not changed much since we were kids, despite that brief respite we got in the post–Cold War, pre–9/11 1990s. That might be a tad depressing, but it is at least authentic. We Xers may never get any decent retro reminiscence, what with everything that was once awful turning up new again these days, but hey, that’s just reality. We don’t need it sugarcoated, and we’ve never expected or wanted that. Continue reading…

EDITOR’S NOTE: You may be interested in reading Gurinder Chadha on Blinded by the Light, Human Dignity, Brexit and the Boss, an interview by Leslie Combemale.

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her Women On Film archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).