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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Short Circuit (1986)

There are so many ways I could characterize this movie. It definitely falls in the category of "wait, I own that? why?" It also could go under the weird, niche intersection of "alien/robot learns to love through pop culture" which I find incredibly relatable.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this viewing. Things I watched on badly copied VHS tapes in my childhood rarely hold up. But this was charming. Ally Sheedy had a number of baggy-sweater-over-floral-dress-over-jeans-with-cowboy-boots looks that I was mad for. I finally understand the sex appeal of Steve Guttenberg. I was introduced to Fisher Stevens through this movie and when I found out he was white I felt betrayed. I spent a good chunk of the movie making stink face when he was on the screen. (Wanna get really angry about that character with me? He was originally written as a white guy. Yeah. Rage on that for awhile.) But overall it's a really sweet film about knowing who you are and asserting it to the world and that's what we all need right now. Ben says the sequel is better. I think I've seen it but I'm okay just taking his word on it.

Other random takeaways:

-Ally Sheedy's character is named Stephanie Speck. "Speck" is German for Bacon and I had a roommate in college named Stephanie Bacon. She was studying to be a nutritionist. So that gave me a nice chuckle.

-I literally never noticed the dog had three legs before. Even when I did, Ben had to say, "that's why the ex makes the joke about 'standing on its last leg'".

-David Shire, composer of my favorite movie score, Return to Oz, did the score and once again he proves to be incredibly deft with switching between styles of music and moods.

-Number 5 hitting on Stephanie is... a mood.

Taking in movies from childhood, it's always funny to me what sticks. As I plopped it into the DVD player, I thought, "gosh what do I even remember of this?" Fuzzy memories of poppies, a butterfly, and painting with soup came to mind. I eventually remembered Ally Sheedy driving around in what I thought of as a Hostess cake truck. *shrug* But those three images - the poppies in the army demonstration, the butterfly that distracts Number 5, and the soup Rorschach test stood out again. And maybe thinking about David Shire's work on Return to Oz is what inspired me to do this week's art.

Markers and ink on paper

Some observations: I've always wanted to mess around with a Mucha sort of art nouveau style but all those very specific curves scared the bejebus out of me. See also all the very nice expensive markers I've purchased but didn't know how to use. If I can't let myself fail on this little project, what's the point? So I went big and I am really happy with it. But good lord doing mirrored images by hand is hard. I might touch this one up in photoshop eventually.

I uncharacteristically practiced before doing the final and hey! It paid off! Seems like something I should learn from this process...

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