1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 2)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 2)

#1 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 28, 2008 6:40 pm

I hereby declare that the 80s Are Totally Back!

Deadline for the 80s List is December 31 2008
PM your list of 50 films (no more, no less) from 1980-1989, ranked in order of preference, to zedz
When in doubt, IMDB's date is correct


Figured since everyone's winding down the 70s list, time to begin discussion on the next list. The above is a brief rundown of the basic Lists Project rules to prevent the inevitable questions about how this works. For more in-depth discussion of the rules, see the stickied Lists Project thread.

I for one plan to watch every single Brat Pack and tangentially Brat Packish film.

User avatar
tavernier
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:18 pm

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

#2 Post by tavernier » Wed May 28, 2008 9:04 pm

domino harvey wrote:I for one plan to watch every single Brat Pack and tangentially Brat Packish film.
So you're doing a worst list, then...

User avatar
Steven H
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC

#3 Post by Steven H » Wed May 28, 2008 9:28 pm

The big 80s films for me are the Taiwanese Hous and Yangs (most if not all of their stuff from this decade will make it onto my list). A few of my Japanese favorites are Miyazaki's Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (top ten for me), Ishii's Crazy Family, Okamoto's At This Late Date The Charleston and Morita's Family Game (the last three are all totally absurd ATG films). Svankmajer's best work (in my opinion) is from this period, and I'll have his Alice high up there.

User avatar
Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

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

#4 Post by Michael » Wed May 28, 2008 9:43 pm

tavernier wrote:
domino harvey wrote:I for one plan to watch every single Brat Pack and tangentially Brat Packish film.
So you're doing a worst list, then...
Obviously you have not seen Sixteen Candles.

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

#5 Post by zedz » Wed May 28, 2008 11:48 pm

Steven H wrote:The big 80s films for me are the Taiwanese Hous and Yangs (most if not all of their stuff from this decade will make it onto my list). A few of my Japanese favorites are Miyazaki's Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (top ten for me), Ishii's Crazy Family, Okamoto's At This Late Date The Charleston and Morita's Family Game (the last three are all totally absurd ATG films). Svankmajer's best work (in my opinion) is from this period, and I'll have his Alice high up there.
Second the Hous and Yangs obviously. (And Svankmajer too - Alicewill be high for me, but Darkness Light Darkness will probably be top ten). The Terrorizer is not only one of the best films of the 80s, it's one of the best films about them as well. It's been a long time since I've seen the Japanese titles (never, in the case of Charleston), so I don't know if they'll figure, but Yanagimachi's incredible Himatsuri will. When is some smart DVD company (Eclipse?) going to release English subbed discs of this film, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Farewell to the Land?

I just saw Claire Denis' S'en fout la mort for the first time, and it's pretty powerful, much more in line with her great works than her fine-but-not-brilliant debut Chocolat. So how come cockfighting has yielded two cinematic masterpieces when plenty of other sports have yielded none, despite much more extensive attention? Again, where's the English friendly version? There's a fine transfer out there begging for it.

Muratova's The Asthenic Syndrome, Ruiz's City of Pirates and probably Three Crowns of a Sailor (at least that one's available subbed), Tian's Horse Thief, a couple of Pialats, no doubt. Su Friedrich's Sink or Swim is fantastic (and available on DVD), and will probably be top ten, as will Ross McElwee's Sherman's March (and maybe Morris's The Thin Blue Line - it looks like my so-called 'top ten' will account for the entire list), but I don't think much Hollywood stuff will trouble my dreams.

Reitz's Heimat made a big impact on me at the time, but I should really revisit it the next time I have 15 hours up my sleeve.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#6 Post by denti alligator » Thu May 29, 2008 12:09 am

So many of these simply aren't available on video and will unfortunately not be viewable by the deadline. And I want to see the Yangs so bad!

I suspect my number one will be Fred Wiseman's 7-hour long Near Death, which is now finally available on DVD for an acceptable price. Please see it.

vivahawks
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: hollywoodland, ca

#7 Post by vivahawks » Thu May 29, 2008 11:50 am

Steven H wrote:The big 80s films for me are the Taiwanese Hous and Yangs (most if not all of their stuff from this decade will make it onto my list).
The films Hou and Yang directed are at or near the top of the decade for me, but they also worked as excellent screenwriters for other directors as well. In particular I remember seeing the Hou-scripted Growing Up directed by Chen Kun-hou a few years ago; it's not a masterpiece like Taipei Story or A Time to Live and A Time to Die, but still a good addendum to the biographical films like Time, Dust in the Wind, and Summer at Grandpa's that Hou directed early on.

While we're on the subject of great directors writing scripts, another excellent example would be Abbas Kiarostami, who wrote and edited The Key for director Ebrahim Forouzesh (I've never seen anything else by this guy, so don't know whether he should be notable in his own right). There's very little dialogue, so I guess scenario rather than script might be the best descriptor of Kiarostami's contribution: basically, a resourceful 7-year old gets locked in a flat with an infant brother where he has to solve various problems, not least of which is how to deal with an overheated gas stove. It's an intrepid child film like Kiarostami's own Where is the Friend's House?, but in my opinion even better, both as entertainment and as a child-eye's view of the world.[/i]

User avatar
Steven H
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC

#8 Post by Steven H » Thu May 29, 2008 12:33 pm

vivahawks wrote:The films Hou and Yang directed are at or near the top of the decade for me, but they also worked as excellent screenwriters for other directors as well. In particular I remember seeing the Hou-scripted Growing Up directed by Chen Kun-hou a few years ago; it's not a masterpiece like Taipei Story or A Time to Live and A Time to Die, but still a good addendum to the biographical films like Time, Dust in the Wind, and Summer at Grandpa's that Hou directed early on.
Thanks vivahawks, and yeah zedz I have a TON of Ruiz to see for this decade (some unsubbed if I get my druthers). Actually, I'm excited about the 80s list. The 80s were a barren wasteland of film experience for me, so I'm geared up for some good suggestions. I have to admit, unlike the previous lists, writing down 50 80s titles that I *love* will be hard (easy enough to come up with 50 I respect/admire, but that's not the point of this list.) The eighties were a bad year for Crumb comics too... just sayin.

How about 80s sci-fi? We know Blade Runner will be top five on the thing, but am I the only person who's going to be throwing some John Carpenter on the list?

User avatar
Dr Amicus
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:20 am
Location: Guernsey

#9 Post by Dr Amicus » Thu May 29, 2008 12:43 pm

Carpenter's The Thing will be VERY high on my 80s list - possibly the top SF (between that and Blade Runner).

Fanny & Alexander looks like it will be top for me - depends on what I can catch up with over the next few months...[/quote]

User avatar
Awesome Welles
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:02 am
Location: London

#10 Post by Awesome Welles » Thu May 29, 2008 12:55 pm

Steven H wrote:The 80s were a barren wasteland of film experience for me, so I'm geared up for some good suggestions.
Yes suggestions needed here!
Steven H wrote:am I the only person who's going to be throwing some John Carpenter on the list?
The Thing will also figure highly on my list! Other high placers will be Svankmajers Dimensions of Dialogue, Ran, The King of Comedy, Pauline at the Beach, Fanny and Alexander, Fitzcarraldo, Repo Man, A Fish Called Wanda, Ferris Beuler's Day Off, Decalogue? Will that be allowed as one?

User avatar
GringoTex
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:57 am

#11 Post by GringoTex » Thu May 29, 2008 1:42 pm

Rohmer's Comedies and Proverbs, which I think are even more impressive than Six Moral Tales, will figure strongly on my list.

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

#12 Post by zedz » Thu May 29, 2008 6:22 pm

vivahawks wrote:While we're on the subject of great directors writing scripts, another excellent example would be Abbas Kiarostami, who wrote and edited The Key for director Ebrahim Forouzesh (I've never seen anything else by this guy, so don't know whether he should be notable in his own right). There's very little dialogue, so I guess scenario rather than script might be the best descriptor of Kiarostami's contribution: basically, a resourceful 7-year old gets locked in a flat with an infant brother where he has to solve various problems, not least of which is how to deal with an overheated gas stove. It's an intrepid child film like Kiarostami's own Where is the Friend's House?, but in my opinion even better, both as entertainment and as a child-eye's view of the world.
Absolutely seconded! It's one of the most suspenseful films I've ever seen. Forouzesh's subsequent film, The Jar, is another children-problem-solving film, but it doesn't have the same intensity. Kiarostami's other scripts are similarly taut (e.g. using real time as a structuring device) and generally much more commercial than his own stuff. The recent Men at Work is superb and should also be tracked down.

The Key was released, with English subs, in France. I don't think the transfer was all that flash, but it's better than nothing.
FSimeoni wrote:Decalogue? Will that be allowed as one?
It was last time (and it's probably more often screened as a single work than as component parts). The two 'Short Films' are eligible as standalones too.

The 80s are no cinematic wasteland for me - it's just that the old standby sources (Hollywood, France, Italy) were comparatively weak and an awful lot of really good films from elsewhere are unavailable (oh, for a subtitled disc of Rogozhkin's The Guard).

User avatar
Cash Flagg
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:15 pm

#13 Post by Cash Flagg » Thu May 29, 2008 6:28 pm

Let us not forget Better Off Dead, The Mosquito Coast, Prince of the City, A Short Film About Killing, L'Argent and Paris, Texas.

User avatar
sidehacker
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:49 am
Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
Contact:

#14 Post by sidehacker » Thu May 29, 2008 7:24 pm

...or The Beekeeper. As of now, my list looks like that on top followed by a bunch of Hou films.

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

#15 Post by zedz » Thu May 29, 2008 10:50 pm

sidehacker wrote:...or The Beekeeper. As of now, my list looks like that on top followed by a bunch of Hou films.
That's what this project's all about. I was underwhelmed by The Beekeeper when I first saw it (my highly anticipated first Angelopoulos), but obviously I need to look again. Is this out in a good subbed edition?

User avatar
SoyCuba
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:30 pm
Location: Finland

#16 Post by SoyCuba » Fri May 30, 2008 1:22 am

I didn't take part on the 70s project as I didn't have time to see enough films to make a list that would have satisfied me. I will take part on the 80s project though. Too bad that I didn't join this forum earlier since I'm much more interested in older cinema nowadays...

I see that Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer wasn't in the previous list. No fans here? It will be placing very high on my list as I consider it one of the finest serial killer films I've seen only beaten by Lang's M.

User avatar
Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

#17 Post by Michael » Fri May 30, 2008 6:29 am

Movies that will definitely reign my 80s list:

The Dead, Mala Noche, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Veronika Voss, The Green Ray, They All Laughed (sorry Woody Allen, this is the New York I remember best from my pre-teen days), Vagabond, Star 80, Law of Desire, Possession, The Changeling, Mommie Dearest, Polyester, Taxi Zum Klo, A Christmas Story, Sixteen Candles (no 80s list is complete without at least one Brat Pack movie and this is the best and the funniest of the Brat Pack), Hairspray (Ricki Lake is so adorable!), Xanadu (is there a movie that defines 80s more than this one? if so, tell me!), Blue Velvet (not my favorite Lynch film but it's The Night of the Hunter of the Reagan era, a crazy film coming out of nowhere, hitting multiplexes of all places), Poltergeist (admit it, it's really awesome fun.), A Wedding, Maurice and My Beautiful Laundrette (as a teen struggling to accept my sexual orientation in the midst of the Reagan era with AIDS scare at its highest peak, it was a revelation to watch those truly beautiful films that found a miraculous way to calm my soul and paved the path for me to celebrate myself for good.)

User avatar
Steven H
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
Location: NC

#18 Post by Steven H » Fri May 30, 2008 10:28 am

Also two criterions that *really* blew me away in the last year were Under the Volcano and Walker, both definitely going on my list.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

#19 Post by domino harvey » Fri May 30, 2008 1:27 pm

Michael wrote: They All Laughed (sorry Woody Allen, this is the New York I remember best from my pre-teen days)
My lock for Number One, Bogdanovich's best film and maybe the best self-reflexive film about Hollywood conventions ever made.

User avatar
sidehacker
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:49 am
Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
Contact:

#20 Post by sidehacker » Fri May 30, 2008 3:39 pm

zedz wrote:That's what this project's all about. I was underwhelmed by The Beekeeper when I first saw it (my highly anticipated first Angelopoulos), but obviously I need to look again. Is this out in a good subbed edition?
All the New Star Angelopolous DVDs come with English subtitles.

Usually, I'm not too fond of Angelopolous. I admire his technical capabilities but most of his films are usually filled with orchestral cues and monologues about Greek history and whatnot. That stuff, I don't really care too much for. The Beekeeper, though, is a bit more of a "relationship" film, I suppose, in the sense that the characters and their psychology is the focus. My second favorite cinematic favorite love story; The Wayward Cloud is #1.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#21 Post by colinr0380 » Fri May 30, 2008 5:09 pm

Glad to see that you liked Vagabond, Michael!

User avatar
tojoed
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Cambridge, England

#22 Post by tojoed » Fri May 30, 2008 5:11 pm

It would be a sorry list for me without Diner and Atlantic City. I hope there are others here who feel the same way.

User avatar
Awesome Welles
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 6:02 am
Location: London

#23 Post by Awesome Welles » Sat May 31, 2008 6:03 am

tojoed wrote:It would be a sorry list for me without Diner and Atlantic City. I hope there are others here who feel the same way.
Agreed on Diner, though haven't seen Atlantic City.

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

#24 Post by Lemmy Caution » Sat May 31, 2008 2:02 pm

Jeez, I'm blanking on the whole decade.
Guess my 80's dope smoking habit managed to leak the Reagan years right out of my brainpan.

Did see Ruiz's Three Crowns of a Sailor recently.
Some genius in that.

Zelig & Purple Rose of Cairo
Blood Simple & Raising Arizona
Repo Man
Veronika Voss
Spinal Tap

48 Hours
The Blues Brothers
Desperately Seeking Susan
Xanadu (is there a movie that defines 80s more than this one? if so, tell me!)
Flashdance
The Big Chill
an Eddie Murphy comedy
Karate Kid
Risky Business

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

#25 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 31, 2008 2:21 pm

I suspect that the 80s list, more than any other list, will be dominated by American films

Post Reply