I love Astoria...I really do. This is REALLY where hipsters go to retire, or at least this is where they go to open up cool restaurants and breweries and coffee shops and vintage stores where you can furnish your très cool 1910 Craftsman Bungalow. And did I mention it is where the film, The Goonies, was shot. I mean, really. The New York Times apparently also agrees, such a smart group of folks. I would worry that this place is gonna get way overrun with tourists, but the often, uh...wet weather takes care of that, with sunny days making you wonder if you've done something good in a past life.
I really do have the best job in the world. It's true. At least that's what I thought when I got a call from the Washington Post to photograph the 25th anniversary of the filming of the movie Goonies. You remember this movie... pirate's treasure, bank robbers, Sean Astin and the scary yet ultimately lovable guy named Sloth who kept eating all the Baby Ruth candy bars. Well, even if you don't remember it, at least 16,000 other people do and a few weeks ago they all descended upon the town of Astoria, Oregon where the movie was filmed. The 3-day event was packed with bus tours, trivia games, movie museums, costume contests..enough stuff to keep me perpetually glued to my "Goonie Weekend" schedule guide.I spent a fair bit of time snapping away at the autograph signings...watching Corey Feldman endlessly plug his band "Truth Movement" and the-now-slim-and-somewhat-foxy Jeff Cohen (the dude who played Chunk) shamelessly flirt with me and coyly repeat over and over, "Don't judge me! Stop judging me."
Fans waited in line for five hours to have cast members sign autographs, their hands clutching old VHS tapes, action figures, and even a Goonies board game, for the actors to scribble on. One guy had driven all the way from Buffalo, New York (granted this guy was wearing a handmade latex "Sloth" mask) and another group who had flown in from France...France, people!
This was some serious Goonies business and though I loved the movie I couldn't quite figure out what it was that had elevated it to cult status. Endless childhood? Endless possibility? Whatever the case, it was pretty awesome to see so many folks unashamedly geeking out and throwing themselves headfirst into ridiculousness.
And that is something I can always respect.