Twenty-five years ago this October, Phil Joanou kicked off his feature filmmaking career with one of the most visually inventive teen comedies of the 1980s. It was, perhaps, too inventive.
Though THREE O'CLOCK HIGH failed to catch on with audiences during its... unenthusiastically promoted theatrical release, the movie gradually acquired a cult following thanks to VHS and heavy pay cable rotation. Shot by upstart cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld and scored by Tangerine Dream, it didn't look or sound like any other teen film of its day. It's also got a manic energy, which feeds off of its physically slight Jerry Mitchell's anxiety at having to fight the murderously imposing Buddy Revell after school. Casey Siemaszko and Richard Tyson are terrific as the soon-to-be combatants, while ace character actors Jeffrey Tambor, John P. Ryan and Philip Baker Hall ably contribute to the movie's off-kilter feel.
To celebrate the movie's twenty-fifth anniversary, Phil Joanou and Buddy Revell himself, Richard Tyson, will be dropping by the New Beverly this Wednesday (10/17) for a Q&A. It will be followed by a 35mm showing of Joanou's U2: RATTLE AND HUM, which is a must-see on the big screen for Jordan Cronenweth's color cinematography alone. Tickets are a mere $8 for the double feature, and you can buy them ahead of time right here.
THREE O'CLOCK HIGH starts at 7:30 PM, while U2: RATTLE AND HUM is scheduled to begin at 9:45 PM. Hope to see you there!