Great Scenes – CLASS OF 1984
Who says villains can’t be a source of beauty? When lost soul Peter Stegman waltzes into class late, walks past the teacher, sits at the piano and plays a piece that silences the room, we understand that this scrappy punk rocker is much more than meets the eye. You see, bad guys tend to be one-note monsters that end up destroyed by film’s end, but it’s this paradox that makes 1982’s Class Of 1984‘s lead heavy (played masterfully by Timothy Van Patten, director of a TON of your favorite HBO shows) a constant source of unpredictable volatility. He and his cohorts terrorize students and faculty on a daily basis, bringing terror to the school halls for no good reason – simply because they can. In this scene director Mark L. Lester keeps his audience off balance, allowing the vile character a flash of brilliance, forcing us to question the character’s depth and motivations. Perhaps he is youth itself – vital, beautiful, and dangerous. Or maybe his piano teacher turned him bad? Either way, if you look closely you’ll catch a glimpse of young Michael J. Fox! Years later Gus Van Sant would use a target=”_blank”>similar scene in Elephant (2003), achieving similar results- proving demented teens playing perfect piano may touch a nerve in all of us!