Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Blogging Club--An Analysis of Music From an 80s Classic

The Blogging Club—An Analysis of Music From an 80s Classic
By: Karli Archuleta
            From freshman P.E. to senior prom; everybody remembers high school. Some thrived, hoping that high school would never end, while others couldn’t wait to get out. No movie sums up this experience as well as The Breakfast Club. We laughed, we cried and we thanked God we are done with high school. When thinking of this 80s classic, the first thing that comes to mind is the final scene. A young Judd Nelson marches off into the distance, hand pumping in the air as a symbolic triumph of that Saturday afternoon. What makes this scene so memorable? Was it Judd Nelson’s bad boy persona? Or maybe the final glimpse of returning to high school for a day? More likely, this scene became iconic due to the film’s anthem playing throughout, keeping that picture forever in our minds. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds is the song that drummed in that last scene. This song enhanced the overall argument of The Breakfast Club, by utilizing the appeals of pathos and ethos.
            According Louis Gianetti in Understanding Movies, “The final scene from a movie is often the most important.” The Breakfast Club is a perfect example of this. It sums up the movie and represents the significance of identity and friendship in high school. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” adds to these themes by using pathos to engage the audience in feeling what the characters are experiencing. The song begins as the five main characters are leaving an eight-hour day of detention. The upbeat rhythm makes the viewer’s heart beat faster and want to get up and dance. This affects the viewer’s mood by making the character’s happiness relatable. They are happy to leave detention, and the cheery song makes us happy to watch. The high schoolers continue to get into their separate cars with new friendships formed. Now, the lyrics have kicked in. It sings, “don’t you forget about me.” These lines resonate with the friends as they go their separate ways for the weekend. Two romantic relationships have formed in the Saturday detention. The “princess” of the film gives the “criminal”
her earring, while the “basket case” takes the “athlete’s” letterman patch. These tokens echo the lyrics “don’t you forget about me,” by the characters having physical souvenirs to remember that day. A voiceover begins as the “brain” explains to the principal that they feel no reason to explain their identity to them, as they have grown so much over the day. Judd Nelson fist pumps, and the song continues into the credits, leaving the viewer to remain with all the feelings.
            This movie became a voice of a generation, and created a brand for “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” This ethos came after the film was released. explains the history of the song. The article explains that writers Steve Schiff and Keith Forsey had created the song specifically for The Breakfast Club. After the movie became a big success, so did the song. The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. charts. Now the song is indistinguishable from the movie, remaining as the anthem of The Breakfast Club for generations to come.
            Gianetti analyzes that “music can serve as a kind of overture to suggest the mood or spirit of the film as a whole.” “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” not only suggests the mood of The Breakfast Club, but enhances the meaning of the themes of friendship and identity. This song deserves five stars (chips) for exemplifying the importance of music in the film industry.

Sincerely yours, The Blogging Club. 


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