In 1988, when I was in college in the Washington, DC area, I went to a special screening of It Couldn’t Happen Here at the American Film Institute (AFI) theater at the Kennedy Center. I wasn’t sure then and I’m still not sure how/why that screening came about. It still seems odd. Upon arriving, we were given promo vinyl copies of Actually, packed with the 12” for “Always On My Mind”, so perhaps the whole thing was arranged by the record label as a promotional event.
Before the film, they showed the Derek Jarman video for “It’s A Sin”, and the host spoke about how Pet Shop Boys were underappreciated and misunderstood. That was a powerful message for me to hear as a young, pretentious music fan. Someone else—at the AFI, no less—“got” it!
It Couldn’t Happen Here is not exactly a “good” film, but it’s absolutely essential viewing for Pet Shop Bays fans. To this day I still own a Japanese Laserdisc of the film, although I gave away my Laserdisc player. Hopefully they will release it on DVD at some point.