Legacy Review

More American Graffiti (1979)

More American Graffiti is far more insane and audacious than I ever possibly imagined. Like truly batshit. The basic structure of the original is the same — one wild day across four(-ish) stories — with the same characters (minus Richard Dreyfuss). And yet it is as different from its iconic original as could be. The four stories take place in the same night, but across four different years (New Years Eve 1964-67), all shot in different film stocks and resolutions. It spans at least a half dozen film genres with a slapdash abandonment of tonal coherency. It’s almost an avant garde fever dream.

Mini reviews of each plotline: The 1965 Vietnam slapstick (in 16mm handheld newsreel!) is the best and most subversive; the 1964 drag race exploitation film is the most dull until its final shot; the 1967 Ron Howard mustache / police brutality / feminist domestic drama has the least predictable story; and the 1966 hippie road movie is borderline experimental filmmaking thanks to its radical splitscreen editing.

Now if only they could’ve shaved a half hour off that run time: I might actually recommend watching it.

Is It Good?

Good (5/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.

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