Friday, January 28, 2011

"Fer Shur"... It's an '80 Thing

The film blogger over at Colonel Mortimer Will Have His Revenge recently wrapped up his 1980 Project. A personal proposal begun some years ago, my friend examined the lion's share of films for that particular year (and posted on many of them).
"For the last few years I have had a slow moving film geek pursuit. The whole endeavor stemmed from my issues with the annual end of the year top ten film lists. I have nothing against them, I love reading them, though I never regard them as anything close to a true sense of what the ten best films of any given year is, but rather revealing the tastes and personality (or lack thereof) of the writer of said list. Does it contain the prerequisite foreign film that the viewer saw once at a festival and appears on the list pretty much solely in a possessive manner (it's mine, and only mine!), does it contain an out of nowhere mainstream blockbuster to prove the writer's ability to register and enjoy pop art (this from someone who would have included Talladega Nights on his non existent top ten list for last year)? No my issue is with my dogged completest attitude. How could I truly create a Top Ten List if I haven't seen every film released in the year, or at least every film that provided me a modicum of interest or critical attention, since a viewing of say, Wild Hogs, would not have any effect on the process."
The rest of the article has been moved and updated to my current blog, found here.
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  1. EMPIRE is a masterpiece and it only gets better the more times you see it - esp. when you compare it with the new Prequel trilogy (ugh). One can't underestimate the input of Kasdan, Brackett and Kirshner and how the affected the final product and what they brought to the table.

  2. This brings back so many great memories at the cinema. I loved AIRPLANE!, SOMEWHERE IN TIME and SUPERMAN II for different reasons. THE CHANGELING is still the scariest movie I've ever seen. It messed me up for at least a month when I kept imagining a boy in my bathtub.

    But you nailed it, of course, with EMPIRE. I saw that movie several times during its first week because as you said, it changed me. 

  3. Great list. And I'm with you 100% on Empire, it was the best of the trilogy. Believe it or not, I still haven't seen The Shining. It's on my must-see list and I plan on buying it next time I see a copy in a store.

  4. Thanks so much for the kind words Leopard, i am glad you decided to follow my request and post your favorite list from the year, since you were actually an active moviegoer in 1980, giving your list a different (and truthfully, more comprehensive perspective.

    Also glad you included a few films which I admire but just missed my top twenty list in The Big Red One, Breaker Morant and Mad Max. I actually try to go by US theatrical release dates so Atlantic City and The Long Good Friday are considered 1981 films by those parameter.

  5. Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in a small way, my friend. I very much look forward to the coming 1981 Project, Colonel.

  6. Definitely, Kubrick's The Shining is one very much worth seeing. Thanks much for your comment, John.

  7. Yeah, the boy in the tub scene remains startling in The Changeling. That damn ball coming down the stairs always always chilled me. Glad we agree on so many on these. Thanks so much, Elyse.

  8. I very much agree. The Empire Strikes Back only gets better the more times it is seen. Thanks, J.D.

  9. I, too, think that EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is probably the best sequel ever, surpassing the originating film. But I haven't really enjoyed a Star Wars film since those first two.

  10. Hello L13,

    Finding my opportunities to read of late difficult.

    Finally getting around to take some time and read this fine post over.

    I love Blues Brothers, The Fog, Superman II, Any Which Way You Can, Raging Bull, The Shining and Mad Max. The Elephant Man was brutal. Tough film to watch and I saw that one in theatres. What a sad story. "I am humannnnn"

    Breaker Morant was very good.

    I still need to see Somewhere In Time, The Big Red One and Dogs Of War. I'm interested though.

    Funny side note, showed my kids Every Which Way But Loose over Christmas. They liked it. THey loved watching Clyde the Orangutan give bikers the bird. It's hard to believe that movie is PG. We were subjected to such fun movies like that growing up without all of these damn PC filters. It's a new day my friend and films lack the kind of freedom you feel in Any Which Way You Can. At least it feels that way today.

  11. I understand your point on this, Naomi. Who knew that 1980 would turn out to be the high water mark for this series? Thanks for the comment.

    p.s., tech support helped me get my comment system back online. Thanks for spotting this and letting me know.

  12. I understand the time constraints oh so well, my friend  ;) .

    And yes, The Elephant Man is a tough film to watch for exactly the reason you state. <span>Somewhere In Time, The Big Red One and Dogs Of War are great films to examine (with the first being timely with the recent passing of composer John Barry).</span>

    As you've noted, so many aspects of the 80s film would be difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate today given the "PC filters" of today. Plus, the studios are tied with media corporations to a greater extent now and everything is analyzed and marketed to death that it becomes homogenized to blandness (though targeted for the important 18 - 35 yr old demographic). I'm with you, brother.

    Thanks so much for your comment.

  13. Oh so right pal.  Blandness. Great way to put it.  You know when I was a boy growing up on my Uncle Bill's dairy farm, we would go out to the barn and pour milk from the big cylindrical vat that held the milk for pick up by the dairy farm after milking 200 cows twice that day. 

    My aunt would send us out with a glass bottle to pour milk straight out the vat.  We drank it with our dinner.  I know it's safer homegenized, but the milk wasn't and we drank it and licked our lips because nothing tasted better.

    You understand what I'm saying.  Yes, that's right, milk just doesn't taste the same after it's homogenized. : )

  14. We're simpatico :)