In the heart of Times Square, a poor girl becomes famous, a rich girl becomes courageous, and both become friends.
Two ill-matched teenage girls form a punk band and soon have New York by its ears.
Two ill-matched teenage girls form a punk band and soon have New York by its ears.
Times Square – Ihr könnt uns alle mal, Times Square - Die kleinen Großstadtwilden, Ihr könnt uns alle mal
I am not kidnapped.
I am me-napped
I am soul-napped
I am Nicky-napped
I am happy-napped
Here’s a wonderful urban punk fairytale from Allan Moyle, the writer/director of Pump Up the Volume and Empire Records. It’s a sloppy, unfocused early film, but the vibe is a blast and you can totally see it as a template of what he would create a decade later.
Disturbed teens Nicky and Pammy come from opposite backgrounds, but their frustrations are the same, and the two of them team up together with the encouragement of rebel Disc Jockey Tim Curry to bring their music and rebellion to the streets.
Watching the two of them dancing along a New York sidewalk to the…
This film is wooden, awkward and doesn't make sense at times. Still, it's a perfect slice of teenage confusion, of unlikely friendship and amazing tunes.
The film opens with one of my favourite Roxy Music tracks, 'Same Old Scene', and it's wrong and perfect for the film all at the same time. It's a film about punk, about New York City as it was in 1980 - gritty, run-down, full of drug-fuelled excess. In a way, I think Roxy Music weren't far off, gritty and excessive in their own way, but still it's odd to have a glossy, synthesizer-driven, falsetto-singing Bryan Ferry and co. in the same scene where thorough-bred Brooklynite Robin Johnson refers to her guitar as her "axe".…
The crop of New York-set movies from 1980 -- Can't Stop the Music, Cruising, Maniac, this -- are so fascinating to me because they're so trapped in a moment, torn between the past excesses that they glorify and the bleached moral and social gentrification that'd start creeping in just a year later with Reagan and the first reports of AIDS. As joyful as much of this is, there's a real (if unintentional) undercurrent of melancholy and inevitability to it -- we know that the dad's Times Square 'reclamation' campaign will be successful and that all of these (mostly queer) spaces and people that our protagonists interact with will soon be gone.
A near perfect movie snapshot of teen rebellion and friendship among outsiders set against Times Square as the seediest playground on Earth. The two young women traipse along 42nd Street movie palaces to the Talking Heads "Life During Wartime" and do mock kung-fu under the marquee of a theater that's playing a Bruce Lee movie, and I never want to stop watching. They look up at another marquee: "Nurse Sheri w/ House of Psychotic Women." They make faces at each other and repeat the latter title while strangling each other. The happiest place on Earth for these two. I'm tempted to ramble on about this, but as Nicky says, "Words are fucked."
1980 In Review - October
A late night disc jockey (Tim Curry) follows the punk rock antics of two runaway teenage girls.
This is a almost film for me, the story is very loose, the main girl is a bit obnoxious and it has a very strange tone, but yet there is something almost magical about it, but not quite.
The soundtrack IS amazing, loads of brilliant artists and songs.
If I was a teenage girl in the 80s I would have loved this , but in the end I don’t think this film is for me.
Flawed, with moments of brilliance,
Hot air, urine, pushers, pimps, and a festering need to be within the city yet, a longing to bulldoze it down to erect an amusement park to swallow the filth of Times Square beneath it. Oh, welcome to New York City 1980.
I was reading that this film has an almost made-for-Hollywood exposé backstory about Allan Moyle finding some crazy girl’s diary between a used couch cushion. Is that even true, Moyle? Tell me the truth dude. In like total meta-fashion, the movie seemed to be more about selling the killer soundtrack over investing a lot in the storytelling. So it’s a sexy cosmic turn of events that a movie plot no one put too much brain power into became…
“I really was just playing myself and probably would have died young had I not had a chance to channel my self-destruction into a starring movie role.” - Robin Johnson
“I swear to God I’ve never seen an actress like this. She’s Mick Jagger plus Marilyn Monroe.” - Courtney Love on Robin Johnson
If I had known this movie existed when either of my daughters were thirteen, I would’ve enthusiastically showed it to them.
It’s an early 80’s runaway fairy tale that seems gritty and authentically “of the streets” due to incredible location shooting, but actually takes place in a fantasy New York where two houseless girls can roam, free of the threat of sexual assault, freezing winters, and true…
I refuse to believe that anybody but a gay man did the location scouting for this -- I mean, how else can you explain the Sleez Sisters squatting at the soon-to-be-demolished cruising piers or hiding out in the legendary Adonis Theatre (here doubling for a straight porno house)?
Though I'm obviously not the target audience, I think this is one of the few times where I'm kind of okay with the explicit queer content being cut from a film -- do I really need to see these 13 and 15-year-old actors being intimate with each other or doing topless dances (which was in the script)? The romantic/sexual relationship that forms the core of this movie isn't even subtext -- it's all right there on the screen, even if it isn't completely openly mentioned.
How is this still kinda obscure??
Gentrification back when they called it “urban renewal.” We use the term gentrification these days because it denotes a passive process, something that’s just happening on its own and therefore there’s no one that you should hurl bricks at. Back in the 70s and 80s we hadn’t refined messaging quite as well.
This one’s for the teenagers who are deep into the process of establishing who they are. I remember back in the hazy mists of time when the idea of being “normal” was horrifying and something to be avoided at all costs, so you desperately flailed by cutting your hair into offensive shapes and trying to outdo one another in how strident a middle…
As a rule I try to avoid content that might have me analyzing the works of acquaintences of friends, as a result, you will rarely get an honest opinion out of me when it comes to material from the Great White North. I like to be honest so generally try to avoid them. This makes discussing Time Square (1980) problematic for me, as despite its proud New York setting, director Allan Moyle (Pump up the Volume, Empire Records) is one of our better exports. At the same time, many perceived flaws in the finished product are a result of a problematic post-production period by Robert Stigwood without Moyle's involvement. Social etiquette rendering my voice impotent, this is being put forwards…
For all the mythologising of the wild lives of the New Hollywood auteurs, you really have to look at the mainstream musicals being made at the same time to get a sense of how truly, staggeringly awash with cocaine the American entertainment industry of the 1970s was. Times Square is a coming-of-age drama produced by Robert Stigwood, fresh off the back of Saturday Night Fever and apparently convinced he could exploit punk as easily as he exploited disco. It starts with Nicky (Robin Johnson) walking down a sleazy back alley to the not-exactly-punk sounds of Roxy Music and thrashing her guitar, to the annoyance of the late, great Elizabeth Peña, who comes out and berates her while wearing clothes that…
Before I begin, I feel it is important to draw a separation between Times Square as a movie, and as a message. As a film, it is a charming adventure of two misfits coming together at the exact moment they needed one another in a fanbabulous slice-of-life rock fantasy. Tim Curry got top billing, but by far the reason the film succeeds is entirely on the superstar shoulders of Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson as the young endearing leads who turn New York on its head.
With that out of the way, Times Square is incredibly problematic in its attempt to evangelize homelessness to a young audience. Allan Moyle approached this material with the best…