Tag Archives: 1980s

Reds (1981) Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Biography, Drama, History

Reds (1981)
American journalist John Reed (Warren Beatty) journeys to Russia to document the Boleshevik Revolution and returns a revolutionary. His fervor for left-wing politics leads him to Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), then married, who will become a feminist icon and activist. Politics at home become more complicated as the rift grows between reality and Reed’s ideals. Bryant takes up with a cynical playwright (Jack Nicholson), and Reed returns to Russia, where his health declines.

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Out of Africa (1985) Sydney Pollack, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Drama, Romance

Out of Africa (1985)
Initially set on being a dairy farmer, the aristocratic Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) travels to Africa to join her husband, Bror (Klaus Maria Brandauer), who instead spends their money on a coffee plantation. After discovering Bror is unfaithful, Karen develops feelings for hunter Denys (Robert Redford), but realizes he prefers a simplistic lifestyle compared to her upper class background. The two continue on until a series of events force Karen to choose between her love and personal growth.

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National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) Harold Ramis, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Imogene Coca, Adventure, Comedy

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Accompanied by their children (Dana Barron, Anthony Michael Hall), Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his wife, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), are driving from Illinois to a California amusement park. As Clark increasingly fixates on a beautiful woman driving a sports car, the Griswolds deal with car problems and the death of a family member. They reach Los Angeles, but, when Clark worries that the trip is being derailed again, he acts impulsively to get his family to the park.

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Overboard (1987) Garry Marshall, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann, Comedy, Romance

Overboard (1987)
Snobbish and wealthy Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) is living a life of leisure with her husband, Grant (Edward Herrmann), when she falls off their yacht and suffers amnesia. Grant takes the opportunity to rid himself of the demanding Joanna – but Dean (Kurt Russell), a widowed carpenter with four kids who once worked for Joanna, arrives and claims she’s his wife. Joanna can’t remember her past identity, but has trouble believing that she was ever meant to be a working-class mother of four.

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Tokyo-Ga (1985) Wim Wenders, Chishû Ryû, Werner Herzog, Yûharu Atsuta, Documentary

TOKYO-GA, Spanish poster art, 1985, ©Gray City

TOKYO-GA, Spanish poster art, 1985, ©Gray City

Taking a breather from the Paris, Texas shooting, Wim Wenders hopped a plane, camera in hand, to look for the Tokyo enshrined by the late Yasujiro Ozu (whose work Wenders dubs “the sacred treasure of the cinema”). What he found instead, documented in this filmic journal, was an urbanized dislocation not far from the forlorn emptiness he coached out of German and American vistas. Whether abstracting businessmen teeing off atop skyscrapers or the rigorous, artisanal craft of building a wax sandwich display, Wenders scrambles for humanity seeping through neon and steel – a humanity linked, inevitably, to the old Japan of Ozu’s films (rebellious tykes, cherry blossoms, tranquil countrysides). A far less queasy piece of hero-worship than Lightning Over Water, the picture meditates not so much on Ozu the filmmaker than on Ozu the vanishing feeling, motifs and images reconsidered in a modernized Japan circa 1983 (the trains that fill the Japanese master’s pictures with notions of inexorable movement have now become bullet expresses, gliding with smooth, ominous impersonality). Elsewhere, Wenders bumps into Werner Herzog (who bitches about having to space-travel to find pure images nowadays), Chris Marker (whose Sans Soleil would make a superb double-bill with Tokyo-Ga) and two aged Ozu stalwarts, gracious, dignified leading man Chishu Ryu and anecdotal camera operator Yuuharu Atsuta. Wenders’ eulogy for a culture alienating its own roots is built, characteristically, upon cinema’s capacity for regenerative beauty, though his links to Ozu are, if anything, more tenuous than his affinity with Nicholas Ray – Ozu’s images distill life, Wenders’ etherealize it. Cinematography by Edward Lachman.

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Je vous aime (1980) Claude Berri, Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Gérard Depardieu, Romance, Comedy, Drama

Je vous aime (1980)
Avant le film, Claude Berri était en train de divorcer et se demandait comment on peut refaire sa vie plusieurs fois. Il a demandé à Catherine Deneuve si elle acceptait qu’il s’inspire de ses propres expériences pour écrire le film. Certaines scènes du film ont été tournées dans la propre maison de Serge Gainsbourg, rue de verneuil à Paris. Dieu fumeur de havane, la bande originale du film, est interprétée en duo par Catherine Deneuve et Serge Gainsbourg.

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Millennium (1989) Michael Anderson, Kris Kristofferson, Cheryl Ladd, Daniel J. Travanti, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Millennium (1989)
Bill Smith, chief investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has been assigned to determine whether human error is the cause of an airline crash. He and his team of investigators are very confused by the words on the cockpit voice recorder by the crew relating to the crash. But at the same time, a theoretical physicist named Dr. Arnold Mayer has a real professional curiosity about the crash, which borders on science fiction. While giving a university lecture, he talks about time travel and the possibility of visitors from the future. Smith discovers the involvement of an organization of time travellers from a future Earth irreparably polluted who seek to rejuvenate mankind from those about to perish in the past.

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Songwriter (1984) Alan Rudolph, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Melinda Dillon, Drama, Music

Songwriter (1984)
Doc Jenkins is a singer/songwriter who tries to leave his singer/songwriter roots to be a music “mogul”, and gets tangled up in a bad publishing deal. He enlists a team of cronies, including a young singer and his former singing partner, Blackie Buck, and together they execute his plan to get out of the deal. He gets help from a stereotypical small-time concert promoter. Honey Carder is the love interest/ex-wife.

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