American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screen by Douglas Kellner, Stephen Prince

By Douglas Kellner, Stephen Prince

Throughout the Eighties, American cinema underwent huge, immense modifications. Blockbusters like Raiders of the misplaced Ark, E.T., and The Empire moves again grabbed large sales for the studios. even as, the expansion of domestic video resulted in new and artistic possibilities for self sufficient movie construction, leading to a few of the decade's top motion pictures. either huge- and small-scale filmmakers replied to the social, political, and cultural stipulations of the time. The two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan spawned a brand new chilly battle with the Soviet Union, which Hollywood movie either embraced and critiqued. additionally in this time, Hollywood introduced a long-awaited cycle of flicks in regards to the Vietnam conflict, exploring its impression either at domestic and overseas. yet technology fiction remained the era's most well liked style, starting from upbeat fantasies to darkish, dystopic visions. Bringing jointly unique essays by means of ten revered students within the box, American Cinema of the Nineteen Eighties examines the flicks that marked the last decade, together with traditional humans, physique warmth, Blade Runner, Zelig, Platoon, best Gun, extraterrestrial beings, Blue Velvet, Robocop, deadly charm, Die tough, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape .

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Extra info for American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema)

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And the “brave young knight,” the heroine’s inappropriate partner, is a mediocre playwright with ambitions to make it big in Hollywood who is easily duped by the wilier Max. From the start, Bones is ambitious. She is tired of being a successful television producer, and she wants to make movies. “It’s a locker room out there,” instructs Max, insinuating that if you are too old to get laid (over twenty), you don’t have a chance. Bones knows her own capabilities, however: “You won’t give me the job because you’re afraid if I pulled it off I wouldn’t need you anymore.

After Yale’s funeral, she retreats to a room at the Liberty Bell Motel for eight days, alone for the first time in her life. Desperately adrift, she asks a radio talk show host if he has seen Paul Mazursky’s An Unmarried Woman (1978). ” When she is recruited into the army and finds out it is not the army she innocently had been led to expect, the one with “condos and private rooms,” her inability to function effectively leads to her whole platoon being punished. But in the army, and especially in bonding with her fellow female soldiers, she comes a long way in understanding herself as a person, independent of the expectations of her upper-class family.

Onscreen, however, certain films reflected the strides women had made in the previous decade. , The Blue Lagoon, Brubaker, Caddyshack, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Blues Brothers), and wellknown directors released significant films that do not particularly stand out for their portrayal of independent women (Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill, David Lynch’s Elephant Man, Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard, and Martin Scorsese’s award-winning Raging Bull), it was also a remarkable year for female roles, notably in the six films that are the focus of this essay: Michael Apted’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, James Bridges’s Urban Cowboy, Sidney Lumet’s Just Tell Me What You Want, Colin Higgins’s Nine to Five, Louis Malle’s Atlantic City, and Howard Zieff’s Private Benjamin.

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