How “Empire Records” Became the Unlikely Film of a Generation // by: Anne Helen Petersen
If you were a teenager in the 90’s (or hell, have been one since the 90’s), you’re surely aware of the cult-classic “Empire Records”. It certainly captured a moment in time, that sadly is long since passed, but as a film it still holds up. Sure, the characters are a little archetypical of the mid-90s, Generation X mold, but like Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink before it, the film speaks to larger themes of the time - which is why teenagers are still discovering it today despite the majority of which having never had the good fortune of spending hours and hours inside of a record store - making friends, connections, and discovering new music the old fashioned way.
I only bring any of this up, as the film was a constant in my high school days - always somewhere in the mess of CDs, VHS tapes, and music magazines that littered my bedroom. And like any old favorite, I eventually grew up and discovered new tastes that were nurtured in new ways thanks to the growth of the digital media age. Now, “Empire Records” is no flawless film. It’s not going to stand up to the works of the Paul Thomas Andersons and David Finchers of the world, but it still holds a special place in my heart, and even as I see it these days as a bittersweet reminder of a special time that no longer exists, I still can’t help but tune in whenever I catch it on cable.
Of course, this is all just intro service to a really wonderful article by Anne Helen Petersen, over at Buzzfeed, that acts as a sort of oral history and analysis of the film’s ability to appeal to a demographic that was barely alive when the film was first released 19 years ago. It’s a fantastic bit of writing, and an excellent way to spend a little free time. Check it out HERE.