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Heathers (Deep Focus #6)

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  111 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
What’s your damage?

In 1989, Michael Lehmann’s black comedy Heathers drew a line in the sand, rebuffing the sweetness and optimism of John Hughes’ more popular fare with darkness and death. Launching the careers of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, Heathers became a cult classic, ranking #5 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Best High School Movies and inspiring hoar
Paperback, 129 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Soft Skull Press (first published June 1st 2011)
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Jul 07, 2011 David rated it really liked it
I'm totally not pulling your dick. This is actually a great little book about Heathers—featuring personal reminiscences, scuttlebutt, critical theory, and a stupid, irrelevant two-page chapter by Amy Poehler wherein she just tries to promote herself.

The screenwriter of Heathers (Dan Waters) actually grew up and went to high school in my hometown. I like that. It seems to validate the medium-grade misery of my own high school experience. Maybe South Bend, Indiana, offers the world a paragon of t
Amie Simon
Jan 04, 2012 Amie Simon rated it liked it
This is the first Deep Focus book I've read (they're like the 33 and 1/3 series for movies), and while it was semi-entertaining, it had some problems. The chapters kind of jumped all over the place, the author wasn't great at connecting his personal stories to what's in the movie, and it was pretty repetitive. I still enjoyed reading about his communications with the director and screenwriter and all the behind-the-scenes tales that accompanied that, but I feel like he could have spent more time ...more
Dec 01, 2013 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: pop-culture
I don't quite get how it's possible to write a dull book about such a clever movie.

When it sticks with the basic facts, things like the character names or actor trivia, it's a passable enough read. But those bits are sandwiched between surface level critiques that range from obvious to painfully awkward.

As an example, here's the author on Heather Chandler: "when she spits out, 'Fuck me gently with a chainsaw,' one has the distinct fear that she could handle it." Um, yeah. Sure.

Worst of all are t
Jun 11, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
It was fun. Breezy. Quick.

As a person who has seen Heathers exactly once (yeterday! It was awesome), I hadn't picked up on many of the details and symbols explored in this book. However, a person who has seen the movie multiple times and/or is just really smart and deep and scholarly probably wouldn't find the insights and analysis to be as interesting or meaningful. This isn't meant to be an extremely serious or enlightening read, I think.

There is a not inconsiderable amount of memoir woven i
Aug 01, 2011 A rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2011
This book has the same problem all the other overly self-consciously "clever" 33-1/3 series books do: they suck all the fun out of listening to an album or watching a movie, and convince you of little more than the fact that all critics are unaware, needy, self-involved douches. Seriously, about 40% of this book was John Ross Bowie's insipid recollections of high school in 80s Manhattan, coupled with page after page of agonizing about whether he should show "Heathers" to his toddler children. I ...more
Mr. B
Dec 08, 2015 Mr. B rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireadths
It's been a long time since I've seen or thought about this film and I guess I never really thought of it as cutting edge. This collection of essays changed that perspective. Funny, insightful, irreverent, and nostalgia-inducing, this book makes me simultaneously wish for the "good old days" and reminds me why they weren't that good.
Oct 01, 2011 Alyx rated it really liked it
Fun stuff here. A friend loaned me this one, because we both understand the awesomeness that is Heathers. This is a Deep Focus book, which is sort of the film criticism analogue to Continuum's 33 1/3 series (complete with cool packaging). Bowie incorporates personal narrative and user-friendly film analysis with interviews with director Mark Lehman, writer Daniel Waters, Amy Poehler, and two ex-girlfriends named Heather. Kinda reminded me of the first Girls Studies seminar discussion (Bowie's as ...more
Dec 20, 2011 Sheba rated it it was ok
Chronicle's approach to film theory and criticism in this series is refreshing, and much of this edition is equally delightful. That being said, some of the overall editing of this edition is maddening and distracting: useless quotes assigned whole chapters, photos without captions, odd choices in photos selected, and far too much useless quoted material. You'll love the personal back story contextualization from the author at first, then become bored at the overextended analogy and self-indulge ...more
Apr 06, 2014 Thomas rated it really liked it
It may not have been the most insightful analysis of a film I ever read in my life, but it was okay and refreshingly different in its approach. What I liked best were the very personal parts at the beginning and end of the book, where the guy most of us know as "Barry Kripke" desribes his own high school experience and utters wishes for his children how they may cope with bullying and the likes.

Would buy just about any other book by the author. If he should ever write one again.
Feb 12, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
This is a quirky mixture and is thus, in its way, kind of appropriate for the film it explores. It isn't particularly scholarly but it is thoughtful. It is anecdotal, but not inappropriately so. It is highly personal but hits enough universal notes that it is accesible. I enjoyed remembering scenes, learning about the writing and filming, and getting other views of a movie that I remember connecting to. It was a quick read and pleasant enough. Certainly worth a look.
Jul 21, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was ok
A somewhat disappointing installment in the Deep Focus series. John Ross Bowie spends most of the book attempting to defend his validity as a Heathers scholar by talking about all the ex-girlfriends he's had, and how some of them were named Heather, and how they gave him lots of insights into young womanhood. Bleh. Skip it and just watch the movie again -- you'll have far more intelligent thoughts on the topic than Bowie was able to muster.
Nov 13, 2012 Bridget rated it liked it
Recommends it for: swatch dogs and Diet Cokeheads
Shelves: cult
I'd rather of learned more about the nittygritty of Heathers minutiae and less about the author's personal history with the movie but I'll bet most folks who read my book reviews feel the same way.
Sep 20, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
Mega-navel gazing so far into a niche that it's hard to climb back out. It works and doesn't in equal measure. Still, I'm loving it.
Jun 20, 2011 r.b. rated it it was amazing
I wish I had written this book. I love the insights and irreverence Bowie brings to one of my all-time favorites.
Amber Drea
Aug 06, 2011 Amber Drea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves the movie Heathers
Recommended to Amber by: Julie Klausner
Really fun, interesting, insightful read. Highly recommended if you love the movie "Heathers."
Feb 22, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Jennifer
Recommended to Kate by: 791.43
Razor blades and cyanide, why try it?
Off a jagged cliff, in a raging tide
Why try it?
Marissa L.a
May 12, 2011 Marissa L.a rated it liked it
Stupid funny and kind of bad in its own way.
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