In honor of this last “official” weekend of Summer (and a long one at that, THANK GOD) I wanted to revisit this post I wrote a few weeks ago about a little known underground film showcasing one of my favorite places, Wildwood, NJ.
Are you from New Jersey? Have you ever been? Most people who have never had the pleasure associate it mainly with mobsters (you’ve done wonders for our reputation, Sopranos), weird accents, bad smells (depending on where you are this is pretty accurate), and basically being the toilet seat under the cheeks of our northern neighbor the Big Apple, among many other illustrious pejoratives. New Jersey is a glorious place, being the Garden State after all… We’ve got acre upon acre of farmland dedicated to everything from growing vegetation to boarding horses. Although the 4th smallest in the nation it’s the most densely populated state meaning there are a crap load of people milling about here PLUS it’s a full-blooded peninsula however deceptive it is about its presentation (so EAT IT Florida & Alaska! We can’t all be as obvious as you). We get ALL four seasons which means we’re scraping ice off our windshields for at least 3 months a year with or without snow and cursing our broken AC in the middle of a 95 degree (plus humidity = 110) heat wave for another 3. If you can find a piece of land that hasn’t been overtaken with a strip mall, housing development or parking lot, you will surely love the scenery.
Where the hell was I going with this? Right, WILDWOOD. So anyway, I finally had the chance to view the Wildwood, NJ movie in all its feature length glory. OWH.MYE.GAHD! The larger than life hair! The hideous clothes only a true fashion victim could love! It’s all there but that’s just what’s bobbing at the surface. The movie features mostly candid interviews with women discussing everything from sex & relationships to future aspirations and past indiscretions. Those interviewed are at times both unintentionally funny and overwhelmingly relatable. It’s touching to hear a young woman speak of her dreams to become a model and an actress while sunning herself on the roof of a local motel. Two women smoke cigarettes outside their room as they discuss their reasons for pursuing work as dancers to make ends meet. They speak as feminists in the sense of reclaiming their bodies as a means to make money while admitting their subjugation in the process. Another two women, one a young mother, reminisce poolside over the wild ways of their youth, cruising the boardwalk during their teens, falling in love habitually and returning home at week’s end, their romances already a fleeting memory. There is no specific mention of actual drug use yet clearly a lot of those filmed appear to be abusing something which is dually hilarious and heartbreaking.
My depiction of this film will never do it total justice. Regardless of your connection or lack thereof to the shore town, it’s a film about people, young people specifically, and it’s easier to identify with them than seek out dissimilarities whether you’d like to admit it or not. It’s utterly raw and real and those who view it will not regret the hour spent. That’s right, it’s just under 60 minutes, so remind me why you haven’t you seen this film yet? You probably won’t find it in the local Blockbuster and my feeling on the subject is this is a “buy” not “rent”. Click here to get your copy or just call me up and we’ll make some popcorn and wax nostalgic.
Hope you enjoy the last days of Summer ’09 and in parting I leave you with some photos of our recent mini-vacay to Wildwood…
one of MANY shops specializing in ironic t-shirts and other random amusements
a general view of the boards
wildwood's most famous pier. sneaky tram car blocked my shot!
purple shirt looks less than pleased to be in frame...
not so much a mall than a landmark
a birthday dinner of corndogs & tornado fries
a bold statement but nothing less could be expected...
and my personal fav:
our view of the sunrise on the bee's birthday