SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.
Twelve years ago, I was doubled over with a coughing fit on a couch in a hostel in Bristol, England. A French gentleman stopped to see if I was ok. We then chatted as well we could with his heavily accented English and my phlegm-filled non-existent French. "Where do you live?" he asked. "Seattle," I said. He paused, then nodded and said, "Ah, ah, yes, grunge. Singles, yes?" I smiled and nodded back, imagining people back home rolling their eyes. Writer/director Cameron Crowe began filming just as the grunge scene was emerging. By the time his film arrived in theaters, the flannel floodgates had burst and many wrote it off as an attempt to cash in on the popularity. It's funny because the music isn't the focal point of the film. Sure, you have performances by Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, an excellent cameo by Tad, and Matt Dillon does play a barista/artist/floral delivery man in a band with the members of Pearl Jam. But most of the movie is just sweet, interwoven tales of twenty-somethings looking for/falling out of/pining for love that could take place anywhere--it just happens to be inside a time capsule of early 90's Seattle. We see the red FOOD GIANT (now the blue WALLINGFORD) sign through the windows of a brown and tan Metro bus, sip coffee at the OK Hotel, flip through pages of The Rocket, shop inside the bright blue interior of a Pay 'N Save and ride the rickety orange roller coaster that was flush up against the sidewalk at Seattle Center before it was leveled by the EMP. Singles isn't merely a cinematic grunge ambassador. It's also how we can remember what it looked like amongst the hype.