Of Things Past Image

Of Things Past

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | September 28, 2023

Like others of its ilk, Of Things Past tackles uncomfortable emotional turmoil that theatrical fare barely touches. When was the last Marvel production you saw that revolved around the repression of grief over a toddler dying? Also, the pacing and intensity that was the standard of TV films are in full force. It’s a one-way ticket to Rivet City, sister! The age of the core movie fits nicely into the concept of flashbacks, even if some of the events wouldn’t be able to be recalled by either lead.

Bollinger’s additional writing does an excellent job of matching the breakneck pacing of the original within the confines of a one-room framing story. The loop de loops he pulls off plot-wise to add the shell of harder drama on top of the original concept are impressive. The framing brings juiciness to areas you would never expect juice to spring from. It also follows the impulse of the original to look straight into some of the painful parts of living.

“…one of the most fascinating ways of resurrecting a shelved production I have ever seen.”

Clark deserves a medal for coming out of retirement to reprise her role for the modern era parts of Of Things Past. It is a rather unique situation to see a performance spanning 37 years, and the actor brings the house down. Her speeches about how essentially s**t happens ring true. Reid takes a break from her cult stardom to give us a peek at her dramatic chops. Those of us who saw her way back in the Deadhead drama Around the Fire know Reid can act. Moriarty is the master he has always been, bringing an edge to his understated manner. No one can repress like him.

I was stoked to have access to some more of Moriarty’s original piano compositions here, as he is a very talented musician. I heard his work previously in the Larry Cohen monster flick Q, and the more of his tunes that are documented, the better. It was also a shock to see Jack Nance in the credits again. As a drunken Earl, he’s at his Jack Nanciest. The niche he carved out for himself after Eraserhead puts him in the same supporting legend class as Gabby Hayes. I had truly missed Nance, and a chance to see him again was terrific. This is his dead man party, and I couldn’t ask for more.

Of Things Past is literally a viewing experience like no other and one of the most fascinating ways of resurrecting a shelved production I have ever seen. It also represents another great opportunity for Generation X to look back and see how we are now.

Of Things Past (2023)

Directed: D. Paul Thomas, Eric Rafael Ibarra

Written: D. Paul Thomas, Frank Dent, Peter Bollinger

Starring: Tara Reid, Louise Caire Clark, Michael Moriarty, Jack Nance, Catherine MacNeal, Gary Bayer, Peter Von Berg, Johnny Mask, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Of Things Past Image

"…literally a viewing experience like no other..."

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