Films for me are more than just an immediate enjoyment, they’re experiences which link me to certain periods in my life or certain times or particular events. I thought I’d have a shot at writing a series of posts relating memories I have surrounding particular films (let’s say, weekly). These may be memories of when I first watched them, or some other aspect of their existence. First up, RoboCop.
I’m not sure when I first saw RoboCop, but I remember when I saw it most. During the second year of my university course in Sheffield, in a house I shared with Charles, Neil, Steve and Steve (~1990). We had a cheap television, a cheap video recorder and a bunch of videos of which one was RoboCop. And we got our money’s worth by watching them over, and over, and over again. We loved RoboCop, we loved it to bits and we knew it inside out. Watching it was more than just seeing it on-screen, it was a shared experience, a house event. We sat in the lounge, with it’s broken green furniture1 and it’s terrible carpet and we lived that movie every time we watched it.
Having seen it so many times, it was inevitable that certain phrases made it into our speech at the time, and if you knew me at university you probably heard me saying ‘I’d buy that for a dollar’ far more than you wanted to. Eighteen years later I’m still asking Bobby if he can fly, and he’s still telling Clarence he can’t. Oddly, the more I watched it, the more I came to dislike the scene where Murphy gets shot to hell, prior to his transformation into RoboCop. Knowing what was coming just made it worse for me and I have strong memories of leaving the room or avoiding watching that scene entirely. I used to know the name of the huge gun and the name of the fancy car Clarence owned, but that memory has gone now.
So when I see RoboCop these days, I don’t just remember the bits of the movie I enjoy, I remember the year I lived in that shared house in Sheffield, and the good times that involved.
Here’s to RoboCop, put down your weapons, or there will be, trouble.
- the sofa springs were so knackered you were essentially sitting on the floor [↩]