1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1176 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:21 pm

I was glad to see that you voted for Monsieur Hire, Nabob of Nowhere! I went back and forth on whether to include it and it eventually just dropped off the bottom of my own list. Its a great film about the persecution of weirdo loners (hence why I can identify with it!), voyeurism and fantasy. It has been a while since I last saw it but isn't the majority of the film told in flashback as the main character falls/is pushed from the top of his block of flats?

My orphans from this list were:

3. It’s Impossible To Learn To Plow By Reading Books
4. Death – Japanese Style (aka The Funeral)
20. The Wings of Honneamise
28. The Emerald Forest
31. Betty Blue
34. Stagefright
37. Knightriders
38. Epidemic
39. The Big Blue (Besson)
48. Altered States
50. Carny

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Brandywine River

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1177 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:53 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
I was glad to see that you voted for Monsieur Hire, Nabob of Nowhere! I went back and forth on whether to include it and it eventually just dropped off the bottom of my own list. Its a great film about the persecution of weirdo loners (hence why I can identify with it!), voyeurism and fantasy. It has been a while since I last saw it but isn't the majority of the film told in flashback as the main character falls/is pushed from the top of his block of flats?
I don't recall it being in flashback but being quite linear and without pulling it out again can't categorically say that that particular flashback reading is out of the question. Despite my best intentions to devote more time to strictly 80's stuff I went off on a Simenon bender which also resulted in Chabrol's Les Fantomes du Chapelier getting a foot in the door at number 50. If you revisit M.Hire it's well worth contrasting and comparing with Duvivier's even more acerbic version 'Panique', where Michel Simon plays the part far more aggressively than Blanc's rather self-hating nebbish.
One other orphan of mine, which in hindsight I should have spotlighted, is Artemis 81 directed by Alastair Reid but is David Rudkin's baby (He of Penda's Fen). It is a totally supersaturated bonkers affair with Rudkin's trademark obsessions of the folkloric supernatural, cinephilia (Hitchcock in this instance), psycho-analysis and low-rent sci-fi/parallel realities.
A lazy thumbnail sketch would be a Doctor Who episode where the script writers had hung out for a week round R.D Laing's place. For better or worse Sting is in it. Anyway I have a feeling it might be up your strasse and is available on DVD in a store near you.
While I'm at it why didn't anyone else out there go for The Cyclist by Makhmalbaf?

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Lighthouse
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:12 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1178 Post by Lighthouse » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:33 am

Well, my top 50 of this decade.

1 Der Stand der Dinge (Wenders)
2 Heimat (Reitz)
3 Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Soderbergh)
4 Wings of Desire (Wenders) aka Der Himmel über Berlin
5 Raging Bull (Scorsese)
6 Megáll az idő (Gothar)
7 Blue Velvet (Lynch)
8 Come and See (Klimov)
9 Tisícročná včela (Jakubisko)
10 Born on the 4th of July (Stone)
11 The Draughtman's Contract (Greenaway)
12 Bez konca (Kieslowski)
13 Twin Peaks
14 The Aviator's Wife (Rohmer)
15 Matador (Almodovar)
16 Shoah (Lanzmann)
17 Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (Frears)
18 Rumble Fish (Coppola)
19 Love Streams (Cassavetes)
20 Przypadek (Kieslowski)
21 Meantime (Leigh)
22 Fanny & Alexander (Bergman)
23 Brazil (Gilliam)
24 Die Katze (Graf)
25 Paris, Texas (Wenders)
26 Diary for my Children (Mészáros)
27 Diary for my Lovers (Mészáros)
28 La vie de famille (Doillon)
29 Péril en la demeure (Deville)
30 La notte di San Lorenzo (Taviani)
31 My Beautiful Laundrette (Frears)
32 Excalibur (Boorman)
33 Drowning by Numbers (Greenaway)
34 High Hopes (Leigh)
35 Something Wild (Demme)
36 Pauline at the Beach (Rohmer)
37 Short Film About Love (Kieslowski)
38 A World Apart (Menges)
39 E la nave va (Fellini)
40 King of Comedy (Scorsese)
41 Tre fratelli (Rosi)
42 Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica)
43 Crimes & Misdemeanours (Allen)
44 Die Venusfalle (van Ackeren)
45 Detective (Godard)
46 The Big Red One (Fuller)
47 De bruit et de fureur (Brisseau)
48 Gloria (Cassavetes)
49 Das Boot (Petersen)
50 Stranger than Paradise (Jarmusch)


Despite that I still think that the 80s are the weakest decade after 1960 (and still much better than any decade before 1960) the amount of stunning films is amazing.

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FerdinandGriffon
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1179 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:42 am

That anyone could put The State of Things at #1 but The Territory nowhere is confounding. But perhaps you haven't seen it?

Though they share a cast, a cinematographer and a producer, they're at least 50 spots away from each other in terms of quality (on my list).

It is quite amusing that each film topped a submitted list, but that the companion project didn't feature on either of those.

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Dansu Dansu Dansu
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:14 pm
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1180 Post by Dansu Dansu Dansu » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:02 pm

My top twenty:

1. Shoah
2. The Terrorizers
3. The Sacrifice
4. The Shining
5. Paris, Texas
6. City of Sadness
7. Do the Right Thing
8. Sans soleil
9. Kiki's Delivery Service
10. Fanny and Alexander
11. A nos amours
12. Come and See
13. Taipei Story
14. El Sur
15. The Decalogue
16. Black Rain
17. For All Mankind
18. The Elephant Man
19. My Neighbor Totoro
20. L'argent

I suppose I was in that previously-mentioned camp that thought the 80s was one of the worst decades for film, but now I certainly know better (and still have a huge to-watch list!). Ruiz was my favorite discovery of this (or any) project, though unfortunately it was made several hours before my list was due. I am responsible for the lowest-ranked entry for City of Pirates, though now that I've had time to watch several of his films (Manoel and Mammame) and digest his unique, well, everything, I would certainly rank it higher. There's something disarmingly unaffected and human about his images, scenarios, motifs, islands that look like faces, etc., so the ultimate effect is felt at least as much as intellectually processed. I can hardly wait to watch everything that is available from Ruiz's 80s output, such as Three Crowns of the Sailor, and...hmm...
Last edited by Dansu Dansu Dansu on Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1181 Post by movielocke » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:58 pm

I'm sort of regretting not participating in this round, on the other hand, by not doing so I've reduced my blind buy kevyip by over 100 films, so I should be able to join the 90s list (and my wife says she definitely wants to watch some 90s "classics" so I'm going to be watching you got mail while you were sleepless in seattle.)

There's so much world cinema from the 80s I do not know, my list would have been heavy on the film's I grew up with, I've not compiled the 50 yet, but my guess is that my top ten would be

1. Empire of the sun
2. Empire strikes back
3. A Christmas Story
4. E.t.
5. My neighbor totoro
6. Fanny and Alexander
7. Back to the future
8. Raiders of the lost ark
9. Grave of the fireflies
10. Stand by me

So I'm sure everyone is grateful my list isn't further depopulating the 100 of obscurities as described above. Next round I'm looking forward to exploring said obscurities and expanding beyond the film's I grew up with and acknowledged canonical world classics.

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Lighthouse
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:12 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1182 Post by Lighthouse » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:13 pm

FerdinandGriffon wrote:That anyone could put The State of Things at #1 but The Territory nowhere is confounding. But perhaps you haven't seen it?

Though they share a cast, a cinematographer and a producer, they're at least 50 spots away from each other in terms of quality (on my list).

It is quite amusing that each film topped a submitted list, but that the companion project didn't feature on either of those.
Yes, I haven't seen it. But cast, cinematographer and producer do not mean much to me when the director is another one. Chances that The Territory is as fascinating as The State of the Things are slim, but it is of course possible.

Actually I'm surprised that The State of the Things is so much less well considered compared to Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas. It probably is also less well known than these 2.

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1183 Post by swo17 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:43 pm

Well, I voted for the Wenders film and not the Ruiz (partly because I already had three other Ruiz films taking up spots) but I think The Territory is definitely the bigger brother in the relationship. (And anyway, if you like either one of them, I think the other one should be required viewing.)

I do prefer the more loose and raw feel (and the soundtrack!) of The State of Things to the cleaner, more methodical approach taken for those other big two films from the decade though. Or put another way, I think those two films are aspiring to be among the best films from the decade (and probably are), whereas The State of Things doesn't care what you think about it, and that's part of why I love it.

A
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:41 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1184 Post by A » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:11 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I was glad to see that you voted for Monsieur Hire, Nabob of Nowhere! I went back and forth on whether to include it and it eventually just dropped off the bottom of my own list

20. The Wings of Honneamise
Monsieur Hire also just dropped off my list. Same as the magnificent Wings of Honneamise. The 80s has so many fantastic films (it's actually my favorite decade for movies) that I'd have loved to compile a Top 100.

It's great to see so many orphans and discover that many people obviously delved deep into the decade and didn't just watch and vote (for) the obvious ones.

One film that would have easily made my Top 50 (probably somewhere in the middle ranks) but which I simply forgot ( #-o ) is James Bridges' Perfect (1985). But as it would have remained an orphan anyways (as did more than half of my submitted choices), I guess it's not a huge loss in the grand scheme of list-things.

I also liked the replies to the results where people listed the countries their Top 50 came from, so I'll try the same:

France: 10
USA: 10
Italy: 7
Japan: 7
West Germany: 7
Hong Kong: 4
UK: 4
Soviet Union: 3
Australia: 2
China: 1
Hungary: 1
New Zealand: 1
Sweden: 1
Taiwan: 1
Yugoslavia: 1

ohtani's jacket
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:05 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1185 Post by ohtani's jacket » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:01 pm

One thing I like to do when a project is over is watch the top handful of films I haven't seen, so if you'll indulge me here are some thoughts on the films I watched this week:

City of Pirates (Raul Ruiz) -- well, this was certainly strange/unique/original. Usually when a film is this odd I go two ways on it, either for or against. I liked this a lot. It was weird in an interesting way and the plot twists (if you can call them that) kept me engrossed. I can't say I'm the type that racks their brain trying to figure out what it all meant. I just kind of go with the flow, and this was really pretty to boot.

The Terrorizers (Edward Yang) -- I wish I'd thought to watch this for the project as I would have strongly considered voting for it. In terms of what Yang and Hou appeared to be going for in the 80s with their themes of alienation (and forgive me if that's a misread) this seemed to nail it best. Having a poke around it seems to get labeled as a bit of a crime thriller and there some nice nods to those sort of genres, but it struck me as a more of a multi-character human drama and a pretty good one at that. Nice script too with the various plot threads intersecting well. The ending was great. Really clever play on earlier plot points. Nice choice guys.

Possession (Andrzej Zulawski) -- this was pretty intense. Lots of screaming. Too much screaming maybe. My wife walked in during that sex scene which was an uncomfortable moment. It was a difficult script and difficult subject matter and they pulled it off well as it could easily fallen off the rails and become stupid, though I must admit that listening to my fellow countryman Sam Neill's accent was a bit off putting. Never mind my cultural cringe though, a pretty brave performance from the actors.

The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese) -- not a big Scorsese fan, not a big De Niro fan, do love an old Jerry Lewis movie on a Sunday afternoon, and thought Sandra Bernhard was pretty good in this even if she was just being Sandra Bernhard. That about sums it up. Was De Niro the best guy for the part? I'm not so sure. He tried hard, but it seemed like Scorsese was also trying hard to do a comedy. I like Scorsese more as a film historian than a director, and there were some great nods to show business of ol', but it wasn't exactly Woody Allen if you don't mind me saying so.

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swo17
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1186 Post by swo17 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:07 pm

Well, Terrorizers was a spotlight title, and if you only watch 10-20 films for any given project, they should all be spotlights.[/mytwocents]

And coincidentally, I frequently forget that the proper title of Possession is not Screaming, Lots of Screaming, and Then Some More Screaming. (I believe that was the working title though?)

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1187 Post by zedz » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:11 am

I think that's the working title of all of Zulawski's films.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1188 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:37 am

I wonder if you can make a list of directors whose careers were summed up by the perfect film title...that another director used first.

Zulawski -- Scream and Scream Again (Gordon Hessler).
Fulci -- Eyeball (Umberto Lenzi).

That's all I can think of.

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TMDaines
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1189 Post by TMDaines » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:36 am

I have just been creating an IMDb list of the 1980s results and there appears to be a rogue entry that no-one has highlighted. Kira Muratova's The Asthenic Syndrome is currently listed as a 1990 film on IMDb and does not have special dispensation in the opening post. I have searched the forum and cannot see anyone raising the issue either:
swo17 wrote:3) The date given on IMDb is the relevant date for determining a film's year of release, even when it's clearly wrong (unless a special case is made below). If the film is not on IMDb and you say it was released during the 1980s, I'll take your word for it.

[...]

The following films may be cited as 1980s releases in some places, but not on IMDb, and so are not eligible for this list: Gates of Heaven, Siberiade, Grass Labyrinth, Buffet froid, Autumn Marathon, Tale of Tales, Two Wondrous Tigers, Moscow Distrusts Tears, S'en fout la mort, Sink or Swim, The Guard, Cabeza de Vaca, A Intrusa, Korova, Bashu the Little Stranger, Dias Melhores Virão, Only Yesterday, Chiedo asilo, Twin Peaks: Pilot
Most importantly, can we agree on what year this was first shown? If 1989, we just need to submit an edit and evidence to IMDb. If 1990, do we need to consider whether it is erased from the results and every other film moves up one place? The top 101 would just become the top 100. It seems a bit unfair and inconsistent otherwise, but I'm not sure if there is a precedent.

Personally, I had this as one of my Ukrainian films to watch for the 90s based on the IMDb year.

Edit: Done some digging and one premiere date I have is from the Russian online encyclopedia of film: the very day I was born - 02/02/90!

Edit 2: I'm getting the sense its release was held for up for several months until 1990: http://www.kino.group.cam.ac.uk/screening

Edit 3: According to The Cinema of Kira Muratova in Russian Review and Kira Muratova: A Filmmaker's Companion it was completed in 1989 and was released in 1990.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1190 Post by Cold Bishop » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:34 am

You know what happens to nosy fellows, TM? They lose their noses.

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swo17
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1191 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:18 pm

It was a 1989 release on IMDb at the start of the project, and at least as recently as May, when I first watched it and rated it on IMDb. The eligibility notes that I make in the first post of each thread relate to films for which I have seen conflicting information about the release date. I hadn't seen anything but 1989 for The Asthenic Syndrome, which is why it wasn't listed there. For this round of the project, it stays on the '80s list (where it already had a very respectable showing) and is ineligible for the '90s list. You are of course still free to watch it though!

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zedz
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#1192 Post by zedz » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:53 pm

Perhaps the 'suppressed films convention' (using year of completion rather than year of release) applied in this case, as Muratova's previous suppressed films Brief Encounter and Long Farewells are generally credited as 1967 and 1971 respectively, even though they weren't released until the late 80s. Fortunately, the period of suppression was much shorter in this instance for historical reasons.


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