Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Some movies of the 1980s

These days I usually don't feel like shelling out 11 or 12 dollars to see a movie, and going out to the movies somehow seems more of a project than it used to.  In the 1980s, though, I saw a fair number of movies, as a recent USIH post about an 'ad hoc canon for the '80s' reminded me.  I mentioned in a comment there a few that I recall seeing (these are all by American directors, because the post's focus is U.S.-specific): Dressed to Kill and The Untouchables (both directed by Brian De Palma, the latter with a pram-down-the-steps scene paying homage to Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin); David Lynch's Blue Velvet; and Rob Reiner's Stand By Me, which -- although I remember none of it in a plot or a scene sense -- I recall as striking emotional chords in such a way that one walked out of the theater feeling warm, uplifted, and convinced, if only fleetingly, that everything was right with the world.


JS said...

I read the Burnett post, which was interesting. It was striking to me that _everyone_, including Burnett, took the idea of canon in this, well. sort of demotic, "most popular" or "most representative" or "most memorable" way. When I hear "canon" (and I'm not defending the idea of a canon), I tend to think: influential + high-brow. More Scorsese, less John Hughes (speaking of film). But this seemed totally missing. I thought anyway.

On a sidenote: I absolutely love 80s (and 90s) De Palma, more than anyone I know. More Dressed to Kill than Untouchables, tho I like the that too, but his Hitchcockian films in particular. I could kind of go on about this for hours. But I won't.

LFC said...

I think L.D. Burnett was angling for the demotic in the way she wrote the post -- but I'd have to go back and re-read it to be sure. She's recently finished her dissertation (and signed a book contract on it, almost immediately afterward, it seems); it deals w the 'canon wars' (i.e. gen-ed curriculum battles) at Stanford in the '80s. So I think in the post she wanted to get some kind of '80s cultural 'surround' or context, and most people took that in a demotic sense. Though as you may have seen from the comment thread (posting under my first name there), my first impulse was to mention serious novels (C. McCarthy and Robert Stone). (And I was thinking about mentioning Edmund White but I didn't, and then someone else did.)

Anyway, it is interesting that Scorsese wasn't mentioned. As I said, I saw a fair # of movies in the 80s (and to some extent, 90s, and I still go occasionally), so if I'd taken the time to think about it I cd have listed some more. I've seen some Scorsese though not as much as you probably; you know a lot more about film, and doubtless have seen more movies, than I. (I had a working, sort of, DVD player a few yrs ago but these days I don't have a working TV/DVD setup and haven't bestirred myself to fix that, so the only way I can watch a movie w/o going to a theater is on my computer, and that really doesn't appeal to me.)