Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Excuse me, Dean Wormer. I totally disagree!

That's why I'm excited about GF PDX, to share our special way of life here in the Pacific NW!

But before the Spring term ends and June finally arrives, it's time to cram in as much IMPORTANT knowledge about Oregon as you can!

And how do we as Americans properly gather facts about history?

Movies, stupid. Movies.

I may not have gone to some fancy-pants Photo-J program in college. But I did attend COLLEGE at Animal House! (Do you Mizzou yahoos know how to Toga?? Didn't think so...)

Watching "Animal House" is a right of passage for all University of Oregon freshmen and fresh women before attending a single class. (Of course, some never watch it, and therefore skip class altogether...)

** A little trivia: When John Belushi was not on the set filming, he was listening to local blues legend Curtis Salgado jam. Belushi would join him on stage and that experience helped ignite his idea for The Blues Brothers. Read the complete backstory and download The Register-Guard clip.

Shouldn't The Blues Brothers have sung "Sweet Home, Eugene"??

Just sayin'.

Writer Ken Kesey lived in Oregon, so not only do some of his books take place in Oregon, the movies were filmed here as well: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) and "Sometimes a Great Notion" (1970).

My grandfather would tell stories of seeing Henry Fonda & Paul Newman on the Oregon coast during the filming of "Sometimes a Great Notion." I like to think that Fonda & Newman were telling stories to their peeps on the set about seeing my gramps, George Kangas, a true lumberjack, fisherman and American pioneer. (West Coast, holla!)

"The Shining" was filmed at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, as Jack made another pit stop in Oregon. Here's a photo "Aerial Bruce" made for the paper after a snowstorm last winter:

I tried to convince Bruce the other night as we played Scrabble that "Redrum" is a word. Maybe an ax-wielding Johnny would have had better luck.

Astoria on the coast is home to quite a few dorky flicks: "The Goonies," "Kindergarten Cop," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III," "Short Circuit" and the first and second installments of "Free Willy" and "The Ring."

Filmmaker Gus Van Sant is an Oregon transplant, so some of his happy-go-lucky films were made here, including "Drugstore Cowboy," "My Own Private Idaho" and "Elephant."

"Stand By Me" was filmed just north of Eugene in a small town called Brownsville. Let's just say that the 21st Century hasn't had much impact on Brownsville yet, so it's easy to feel like you're back in the 1950s when cruising around town.

I'm going to pretend that "Mr. Holland's Opus," "Benji: The Hunted," "The Postman" and "Body of Evidence" were filmed outside The Beaver State.

For more titles, including "Star Wars 5" (with scenes from my Hillsboro 'hood), check out this list people.

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