ALMOST FAMOUS
2000, Paramount, 122 min, USA, Dir: Cameron Crowe

Writer-director Cameron Crowe drew on his own memories as a teenage writer for Rolling Stone to create this incandescent coming-of-age tale (and earn a Best Original Screenplay Oscar). Despite worries from his mother (Frances McDormand), aspiring rock journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit) lands a plum assignment covering the band Stillwater. On tour, he befriends groupie Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and – against the advice of rock critic mentor Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) – Stillwater’s guitarist (Billy Crudup).


FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
1982, Universal, 92 min, USA, Dir: Amy Heckerling

A raunchy and painfully funny look at Southern California high school students by director Amy Heckerling (CLUELESS). Writer Cameron Crowe (ALMOST FAMOUS) adapts his own semi-autobiographical book as an unexpected launching pad for three future Academy Award winners: Forest Whitaker, Nicolas Cage, and Sean Penn (in a career-making turn as pothead surfer, Jeff Spicoli). Also starring Jennifer Jason Leigh in her first major role, as a vulnerable teenager anxious about losing her virginity. A truly iconic film from the hilarious rogues’ gallery of regular guys (Judge Reinhold), teen-queens (Phoebe Cates), hustlers (Robert Romanus) and stoners. Also featuring Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards, the original Sherman Oaks Galleria (where the species known as The Valley Girl was born), Santa Monica Place and the immortal Ray Walston as Mr. Hand. Classic soundtrack music by Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, The Cars, Led Zeppelin and more.


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