Back to the Future trilogy screening with Midnites for Maniacs trip report!
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Minites for Maniacs showing of the Back to the Future trilogy. All three films screened together for what I am told is the first time in the US since the original runs. How can you pass up seeing all three films in the classic Castro Theater for only $12? Obviously, you can’t!
The films have long gone on to classic status, creating what is one of the tightest trilogies while inspiring a whole generation of film fans. I grew up watching the original, taped off of cable, and remember how exciting it was when the sequels were announced and were going to film back to back and then release back to back. That was revolutionary for the time.
Watching all three films in a row helps emphasize how much the films play off each other. It’s not only a connection made from turning a single film into a trilogy (as the original was originally stand alone), but the repeating of scenes and tropes both within and between the various films. The Marty waking up scenes talking to his mom, the manure scenes, the Tannens telling the McFlys not to be in various places.
Not only does Back to the Future steal from itself, but it also steals from a whole history of Hollywood cinema. From the obvious A Fistful of Dollars to Marty McFly Jr. quoting Midnight Cowboy to the classic Western actors appearing in the saloon in BTTF 3.
Even the discarded original ending involving an atomic bomb and the time machine (which was at that time a refrigerator) ended up being recycled into the beginning of the fourth Indiana Jones film, minus the whole time travel angle (unless you count him getting really old as being time travel!)
The films looked amazing, high quality digital prints screened with classic trailers on good old 35mm film. Joining the screening was not just a DeLorean parked outside, but actor Jeffrey Weissman, who played George McFly after Crispen Glover has his disagreements with the producers about the sequels. Weissman told about how he was hired, originally as a photo double, unaware of what the real job was. He was a cool guy and knew how to talk to an audience. There is going to be a whole slate of things planned for the 30th Anniversary, including a themed cruise!
At this point we are 29 years on from the original, just one year shy of the future of 2015. While we may not have flying cars, Mr. Fusion, 19 Jaws films, or hover boards, we do have the enduring knowledge that the future is what we make of it, and if we put our minds to it, anything’s possible.
Thanks to Midnites for Maniacs/Jesse Hawthorne Ficks for setting up the screening!