Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 8/19/2022

by Just Juan

Back in May, I started a new thing: precious metals collection. I started initially as a hedge against what the elected leaders are doing with the mishandling of the American economy but I think it’ll be my new side hobby alongside my massive postcard collection. In the 3 months I’ve been at it, I’ve learned the ins and outs and the incredible value of certain precious metals such as silver coins and gold bars. It actually helps me understand the main plot in a film I saw for the first time nearly 20 years ago. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: The Italian Job film.

How I first came across this moment? I first came across the film on May 30, 2003. I was a week removed from my high school graduation and it being a Friday, it was my usual date night with Valorie Drew. I wanted to watch Wrong Turn but it was her turn to choose so we ended up watching the heist action film as opposed to the slasher film.

What it meant to me then? I actually liked the film. It had some characters I was familiar with from films I had seen prior: Edward Norton (Fight Club, The Score), Donald Sutherland (JFK, Without Limits, Space Cowboys), Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm, Planet of the Apes), and Charlize Theron (Men of Honor). Mos Def was also in it and I knew him from my Windows Media Player. I was fascinated with the elaborate planning that Charlie Croker’s team did in their quest to steal Steve’s gold and get vengeance for his killing of their leader, John Bridger. I was actually a bit surprised to find that the film was directed by F Gary Gray as it was different from other films I had seen under his direction such as Friday and Set It Off. I remember ending that night by admitting to Valorie that she made the better choice on film selection…something that actually proved to be true when I saw Wrong Turn 3 days later.

What it means to me now? All of these years later, The Italian Job is actually a favorite film of mine. I’ve had the DVD for about 15 years now and I watch it maybe 2-3 times a year. The film introduced me to the famous Marlena Shaw track that has become my theme song whenever I’m in California.

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