Thursday, March 3, 2011

Less than Zero's Glory Daze..


Less than Zero is a social commentary of the upperclass in beverly Hills in the 80's. The drugs, flippant attitude to life and money is reflecting the lives of the college kids during their summer break. I saw the trailer for a new show being aired on channel 4 which documents the life of a working/middle class boy setting off to college and being lured into a life of drink, drugs and rock and roll. Brett Easton Ellis uses music lyrics throughout the novel to convey the feeling of his characters. I think this was the beginning of bringing music not just into films and television, but into literature too. It has been described as the first MTV novel. I think its popular culture references and modern language and themes convey well to modern day television. The revival of the 80's on television in shows like this one show that the issues concerning Ellis are also relevant today. The TV series is basically about a boy going to college and wasting his time on girls and booze rather than getting the education he went for. Ellis describes Clay as being disillusioned with California and his longing to go back east due to the fake things he see's around him all day, fake people, fake boobs.

Less than Zero portrays youth culture in a completely individual way at the time, it shows the despair of Clay and his thrill seeking antics in order to feel something. Glory Daze is clearly a much more upbeat portrayal of youth culture in 80's America. Showing more the fun side to drink and drugs rather than the macabre. The film version recieved pretty poor reviews and left out a lot of the books major plot lines focussing on the drug fuelled rampagings of a young man.

This Article shows just how different the film is from the novel, as much as the book is about drugs and the effect they have on Clay and those around him, I think its more about the general culture that he lives in, all of his friends are on drugs, most of their parents are alcoholics and they cant escape from that world in Beverly Hills. I think in this way Less than Zero has many things in common with other commentaries of the time. The pressure on young people during the 80's to be cool rather than smart or sensible is common.

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