The Case For: Angus

Angus
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AngusFor several years now I’ve been trying to make the case for giving the 1995 film Angus the Criterion Treatment – that is, to allow Criterion the distribution rights for this incredible work of art so that it can become a permanent addition to the Criterion Collection. At this time, Angus is only available as a dvd-r, on demand from WB and Amazon.com through Amazon’s CreateSpace service. A film this important commands better treatment and so I present here my reasoning as to why I believe Angus deserves a Criterion spine.

*Spoiler Warning*

1.  The film isn’t your average teen movie, but a depiction of middle school/high school life so true to reality that it made some parents and children uncomfortable.  This is partly why it wasn’t a big success when it initially came out and why it hasn’t been treated respectfully since.  A film that hits a core this hard definitely warrants a second (and third) look.  Basically this story and its characters are as real as it gets, as are the outcomes.  That’s something to be applauded in little ol’ happy ending Hollywood.  Angus might not get the girl, but there’s always hope and that’s all any boy really needs.

Angus2. Rob Cavallo produced the film, thus incorporating an amazing collection of 90′s songs from popular bands he also produced, including the Goo Goo Dolls, Weezer and Green Day (among many other amazing artists). Because of this, the soundtrack of Angus was more popular than the actual film (at least where I grew up in Maine).  Most of my friends who had the soundtrack, never even saw the film (and still haven’t bothered). A highly publicized Criterion release would remind a good chunk of the 90′s generation to check out the film they likely forgot about.

3. In some cases (and specifically in the case for Angus), individual scenes are in and of themselves worth preserving.  Included in this is the climatic school dance where Angus conjures up the courage to stand up to the school bully (played by a young James Van Der Beek) and gets a dance with his dream girl (played by the amazing Ariana Richards of Jurassic Park fame).  Added to this, in a scene when he’s being interviewed for admission to a private school, Angus makes a case for the underdog by using his own science experiment as a case and his own experience in life as a control. It’s a remarkable scene and excellent monologue delivered by actor Charlie Talbert.  Added to this and other scenes, it has the single best opening credits sequence of any film I’ve seen.  It’s funny as hell, has an amazing song to boot and makes your average high school marching band look like rock stars.  Oh, and there’s that reality check again.  Gotta love it! Check it out here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vZKt1u7SIM&w=420&h=315]

Direct Link URL: http://youtu.be/1vZKt1u7SIM

Angus4. George C. Scott! Everything about Scott’s character and performance is priceless.

5.  The film is all around good for the teenage soul. Growing up just plain sucks regardless of which class or culture you live in. At least for young American boys, this film exists as a light in the darkness. It’s an emotional reason, and seemingly silly at best, but an important one.

6.  It’s good film making and great storytelling with an amazing cast of characters.  Why wouldn’t you pick this film up?

There are plenty of other reasons. If you’re a fan of Angus, hit us up in the comments and let FA know what you loved about the film.

Here’s a trailer for Angus:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q4Xmh6XKto&w=420&h=315]

Direct Link URL: http://youtu.be/-Q4Xmh6XKto

Thanks for hearing my case Criterion,

-Eric

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About the Author

Eric Norcross
is an award winning filmmaker, author and journalist based out of New York City.
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